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Report available on local residents’ access to food.

Food access in Franklin County and the North Quabbin is complex. While farm fields and food venues abound, many people struggle to get enough nutritious food to eat. In Franklin County, over 10% of people and 18% of children are food insecure.

​In order to effectively implement strategies to improve residents’ access to healthy food, the Partnership for Youth conducted focus groups with residents, seniors and youth to assess the food access landscape from the perspective of those who experience greater challenges in accessing food. The publication Food Access in Franklin County and the North Quabbin reports on findings from those focus groups. This work was made possible through Mass In Motion funding from the MA Department of Public Health. 

Food Access Report


Coalition Educates on Youth Marijuana Use

In November, MA residents will vote on the question of legalizing marijuana for recreational use.  Whether or not this legislation passes – and how this legislation is implemented if passed – will have a significant impact on the use of marijuana by young people.  The FRCOG’s Partnership for Youth, as part of their work with the Communities That Care Coalition, has developed a presentation on what we know about the effects of marijuana on young people, and what works in preventing youth use.  Partnership for Youth staff have provided this presentation at several community venues this spring, including as part of the Selectboard Essentials series.

In July staff hosted a “Training of Trainers” where they trained a small group of community leaders (including staff from Clinical and Support Options, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Greenfield’s Safe Schools Safe Streets Coalition, the Opioid Task Force, and the Collaborative for Educational Services) to be part of an informal Speakers Bureau on this topic.  If you are interested in learning more or in setting up a presentation for your community, please contact Kat at

New Community Action Plan for the Communities That Care Coalition

A new Community Action Plan is ready for endorsement at the May 13th meeting of the Communities That Care Coalition. It is the third revision of the original Community Action Plan the coalition adopted when it was formed fourteen years ago. It describes changes in the Coalition’s structure and lays out strategies for the Coalition’s work for the coming years.

Access the 2016 Community Action Plan here: CAP 2016

“Community Voices” on local youth substance use

The Communities That Care Coalition recently completed a set of key informant interviews and parent and youth focus groups as a part of a community assessment on the topic of youth substance use. Findings from these focus groups and interviews are reported out along with annual Teen Health Survey data in Community Needs Assessment regarding Youth Substance Use in Franklin County and the North Quabbin. A community meeting is taking place at 3:00 on March 17 at Greenfield High School to review and discuss findings.

PFY Community Assessment – Draft Mar 17

Tobacco-21 progress in Franklin County

Charlemont, Shelburne, Montague, Leverett, Greenfield, Gill and Whately have passed measures to raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21. The Tobacco-21 effort to reduce youth smoking is gaining traction in Massachusetts, with 72 towns signed on by summer’s end. Raising access to age 21 not only restricts teens’ ability to buy tobacco, but decreases social access by putting legal purchasers outside the social circle of most high school students.

CTC at National Collaborative on Education & Health

On August 19th, the Franklin County/North Quabbin Communities That Care Coalition was represented at the National Collaborative on Education and Health’s Substance Use Working Group.  Coalition Co-Chair Kat Allen presented as part of a panel and participated in the day-long discussion leading to policy recommendations for the nation on how to best integrate substance use prevention into the schools.


Communities That Care Coalition recognized

The Communities That Care Coalition (CTC), co-hosted by the FRCOG’s Partnership for Youth and Community Action, has once again received national attention for its successful use of a Collective Impact approach to achieving social change. On November 12, the Collective Impact Forum released a publication, How Public Policy Can Support Collective Impact, with a shout out to CTC for its work in reducing youth substance use.