March 6, 2018

Contact: Ellen Batchelder,, 413-584-1300 x3

DATE CHANGE: HCG Purchasing Co-op offers local teachers hands-on opportunity to choose school and art supplies

Update: Due to inclement weather, the dates have been rescheduled. School supplies will now take place on Wednesday, March 14th, and Arts & Crafts will be Thursday, March 15th.

HCG Purchasing Co-op offers local schools a chance to save time, money, and effort through the General School and Arts & Crafts Supplies bids. On Wednesday, March 7th, and Thursday March 8th (weather permitting), local teachers and school staff will participate in awarding those items that will yield the best value. The process allows them to physically test and evaluate each product, and decide which supplies they choose to make available for purchase through these bids.

“Teachers are the experts on the supplies they use every day,” says Ellen Batchelder, director, HCG Purchasing Co-op. “Allowing them to test each item first hand, provides the opportunity to make fully-formed product decisions, given tight school budgets.”

Awarded products are chosen by the representatives of the local schools participating in the event, who know from experience which items bring the most value to their classrooms and school districts. Last year, these two bids contained over 1,600 different products. There is no cost for any public school system to participate and take advantage of the savings.

“These bid award meetings are incredibly beneficial,” says Dave Gleason, a long-time participant from the Northampton Public Schools. “We don’t have to settle for the lowest priced items; we get the quality we are looking for at the best price out there. Physically using the items, not just seeing a picture, really gives us the chance to make the best choices.”

The award meetings also provide a rare opportunity for area teachers to meet face to face and share ideas. The schools participating in the award meetings include Northampton, Pittsfield, Hampshire Regional, Easthampton, Belchertown and Longmeadow. To learn more about how to participate in this program, please call us or visit

Media is encouraged to attend and observe the award meetings.

About us

HCG supports communities by empowering local, sustainable and efficient economies. The organization helps cities and towns, schools, nonprofits and businesses get the most value by pooling their buying power. The Purchasing Co-op makes it easy for towns, cities and nonprofits to save money, time, and effort on major and everyday purchases. HCG’s Hampshire Power provides electricity services, including green and locally produced electricity. And HCG supports communities with its own, uniquely effective service organizations: RSVP of the Pioneer Valley and the Hampshire-Franklin Tobacco-Free Community Partnership. Every cent HCG earns goes back to supporting the communities of Western Massachusetts. HCG is funded by its own revenue.