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Spanish American Center: ‘Wonderful to be back home’ in Leominster
By Cliff Clark, cclark@sentinelandenterprise.com
UPDATED: 06/16/2015

LEOMINSTER — Workers at the Spanish American Center have settled back into their Spruce Street facility that was damaged in February after a pipe burst in its second-floor kitchen and water severely damaged several offices on its first floor.

“It’s so wonderful to be back home,” said the center’s executive director, Neddy Latimer, while standing in the second-floor kitchen that was the source of the leak that damaged the center.

Leominster Spanish American Center staff members Neddy Latimer, left, and Nicolas Formaggia discuss the renovated facility on Spruce Street on Monday, while standing in the renovated kitchen.SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE / Ashley Green

Leominster Spanish American Center staff members Neddy Latimer, left, and Nicolas Formaggia discuss the renovated facility on Spruce Street on Monday, while standing in the renovated kitchen. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE / Ashley Green

Folks at the Spanish American Center in Leominster are especially happy about the renovated kitchen.SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE / Ashley Green

Folks at the Spanish American Center in Leominster are especially happy about the renovated kitchen. SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE / Ashley Green

The staff moved back into the facility in late May from temporary office space on Manning Avenue that was provided to the center with the help of the United Way of North Central Massachusetts and local commercial developer Peter Bovenzi.

“We can’t thank them enough for all they did for us,” said Latimer, who also thanked everyone for their assistance during the last few challenging months, including dozens of volunteers and the center’s board.

In addition to settling into their repaired facility, staffers are also excited about the completion of a new, commercial-sized kitchen, located immediately behind the center in a separate building.

“Our dream has come true,” Latimer said while walking through the new kitchen and attached activity center that was completed last week by students from Leominster High School’s Center for Technical Excellence innovation.

She said the new kitchen facility will be named at a later date in honor of the late David Higgins Jr., a stalwart supporter of the center until his death in 2012.

Equipped with a large walk-in refrigerator, commercial-sized stoves and a fire-suppression system, the kitchen will allow staff and volunteers to prepare the approximately 1,500 free meals that are distributed each day for disadvantaged youth at 18 sites in the Leominster, Fitchburg, Gardner and two new locations in Clinton.

The summer meals program will begin June 29, said Latimer, adding that the reason the center runs the summer program is simple.

“Hunger is a serious issue,” she said.

The program is designed to provide children who qualify for free lunches during the school year a source of nutrition throughout the summer.

In the past, many of the meals provided to children were cold, but the new kitchen will provide the equipment to offer hot breakfasts and lunches.

While the staff is still working out the details, Latimer said she is hoping to provide at least three hots meals each week.

Last week, the Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts announced the recipients of 30 grants totaling nearly $500,000. Nearly a quarter of the total amount of grants awarded by the foundation was for food cards to local food pantries, fuel assistance and helping the center after the building damage.

“God bless them,” said Latimer of the help by the foundation for the center and the area’s hungry.

She urged anyone who needs food assistance this summer, and have children in the home, to call the center at 978-534-3145 or 978-828-1546 to learn more about the program.

Follow Cliff Clark on Tout and Twitter @cliffcclark.

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Freedom Means Radio Pro

Freedom Means Radio Program WPKZ Radio

 

 

Leominster Spanish American Center to appear as guest on local radio station WPKZ program “Freedom Means” to highlight  Center’s Breast Cancer Initiative.

Join us this Sunday, June 14, 2015 when Barbara Nealon, LSW of Heywood Hospital, and Adrian L. Ford, Director, Three Pyramids Inc. in Fitchburg will host the Spanish Center’s Susan O’Brien and Board Member Cheryl Boissy as we spread the word about  local women’s health resources and the impact of Breast Cancer on vulnerable populations.

Barbara Nealon, LSW, Co Host of WPKZ's Freedom Means Radio

Barbara Nealon, LSW, Heywood Hospital & Co-Host of WPKZ’s Freedom Means Radio

 

Adrian L. Ford, Director, Three Pyramids Inc and Chairman of The Minority Coalition of North Central Massachusetts

Adrian L. Ford, Director, Three Pyramids Inc. and  Host of “Freedom Means”

Freedom Means is aired Every Sunday at 8:30 am on 105.3 FM and 1280 am on:

WPKZ Radio “The Heart Of New England’s Pulse”

The Leominster Spanish American Center would like to thank Freedom Means for helping us to get the message out.

 If you miss us on WPKZ  on Sunday morning, you can hear a recording  of the broadcast on the Minority Coalition’s Website Media Page by clicking the link below.

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www.theminoritycoalition.org

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We wish to thank the kind folks at Mezcal for the fundraiser, excellent food and gracious hospitality this past Monday night.Thank you!

20 Central Street, Leominster, MA 01453
www.mezcalcantina.com
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Watch for our nomination and please vote in the Enterprise Bank’s 20 Weeks of Giving!

 

20WOGEB

The Leominster Spanish American Center has been nominated to participate in Enterprise Bank’s “20 Weeks Of Giving program”! Each week, beginning May 1, 2015, three local Non-Profit Agencies will compete for votes from the community.

Vote on the Enterprise Bank WEB site.

Check back each week to see when the Leominster Spanish American Center will be eligible for your VOTE! Thank You Enterprise Bank for donating to our local community organizations. We hope the Leominster Spanish American Center will be one of your Winners!

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We returned home to our Spruce Street Office last week! Stay tuned for updates about the Grand Opening festivities for our Kitchen Annex and Youth Center dedication.

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The Center would like to extend thanks to the United Way of North Central Massachusetts, The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts, and to Mr. Peter Bovenzi for their generous outreach and assistance during this past winter’s emergency. United Way Logo

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El Centro Hispano Americano le da las gracias al “United Way of North central Massachusetts”, The Community Foundation, y al Sr. Peter Bovenzi por su apoyo generoso a nosotros durante esta emergencia.
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 Welcome to the Leominster Spanish American Center’s web page. The Center is a non-profit social service agency in Leominster, Massachusetts, a city of diverse ethnic and linguistic traditions. The Leominster Spanish American Center is a registered, tax exempt 503 © agency. We receive funding through private donors, grants, some government programs such as CDBG (Community Development Block Grants) and The United Way.

SAC Sign 112 Spruce Street

     Our vision is that every person would live in a safe, healthy, peaceful, and prosperous community in order to enjoy the full benefits of our society.

    Our mission is to respond to the social, health, educational and cultural needs of the Leominster community and surrounding areas with special focus on the Hispanic /Latino community, limited by language, poverty and access. We foster economic self-sufficiency, equal opportunity, and active participation in community related activities for better quality of life.

The Spanish American Center is committed to providing assistance to Spanish-speaking residents to overcome language barriers, promoting the development of our young people, fostering community involvement and leadership; increasing relationships with partners, and connecting clients to available community services, which represent and advocate for the community.

In keeping with Latino traditions and being mindful of the historical principles of American democracy, the Spanish American Center adheres to the values of inclusion, and acceptance and embracing one another in collaboration and celebration of hope for a more prosperous future.

     Our programs: include (ESL) English as a Second Language classes, our Leominster community food pantry, summer meal programs for children in Leominster, Fitchburg and Gardner, elder programs, legal clinics, domestic violence intervention, after school programs for middle and high school students, advocacy, and occasional mobile consulates for our Uruguayan-American community. In addition, the Center has begun, this past year, intervention with families in transition who are temporarily housed in local motels by providing hot meals two nights per week, which are prepared at the Center and delivered and served on-site at the motels. Our newest service for the community is mediation training for interested volunteers, and the provision of mediation services for our clients.   (David Higgins Memorial Kitchen of Care /Serving Our Community)