(413) 543-3930 • 240 Main St, Indian Orchard, MA 01151

Historical Timeline

May 2, 1983

We opened our doors as the Ludlow Open Pantry, an extension of Springfield’s Open Pantry. We were created by a group of caring people who came together to address the need for an emergency food pantry in their community. We assisted 687 families in the first year and were open 6 hours per week.


May 18, 1986

We gained our autonomy from Open Pantry and became the Tri-Community Survival Center to reflect our service area: Ludlow, Wilbraham and Indian Orchard. In our first year as an independent agency, we received and distributed 27,324 pounds of food to 1,056 individuals. In addition, 4,113 people received clothing and 1,088 people received furniture.



Our founders Sister Helen Rousseau and Sister Ann D’ Alessandro left The Center in May. Lauren Croce was hired as the new Director and Chris Cargile became the Assistant Director.



Our Director Lauren Croce left and Chris Cargile became the new Director.



We discontinued our furniture program due to the increasing cost of running it. We expanded our household goods program.



We changed our name to The Community Survival Center in order to reflect our expanding client base and the growing need for our services.



We created a breakfast and lunch program called the Preschool Program, for toddlers and all pre-school aged children. Still in operation, this monthly program provides qualifying families with nutritionally balanced breakfast and lunch meals in the form of bagged groceries.



In April we began our Senior Outreach Program in response to the elimination of the quarterly distribution of USDA food items to senior citizens. Still in operation, this monthly program provides a supplemental bag of groceries that includes perishable meats.



In October we moved from 107 Center Street in Ludlow to the former St. Aloysius School on Worcester Street in Indian Orchard. We rented two rooms and doubled our space.



We opened the Bridge of Hope Thrift Shop to create a source of affordable work attire for those entering the workforce as a result of Welfare reform.



We launched our “Buy a Brick Campaign” in an effort to stimulate monetary donations. We received $3,000.00 in yearly pledges to support our programs.



We offered other human service agencies the opportunity to highlight their programs at our “Community Counter.”



On May 2nd we celebrated our 20th anniversary.



When the St. Aloysius School building was sold, our rental space was decreased by 50% at a time when requests for assistance were increasing.



Being unable to accommodate our growing programs in our decreased rental space, we purchased our own building on Main Street in Indian Orchard. With the help of the sheriff’s department, we moved to our new location in February. We increased our hours and became the only emergency food pantry in the Greater Springfield area that was open full time 5 days per week.



For the first time we saw a large number of people coming to our emergency food pantry who had never before utilized a food pantry.



Increased donations from the community made it possible for us to provide clothing and essential household items to almost 40,000 individuals. Over 8,000 people received food assistance.



On June 9th, our Executive Director of 23 years, Chris Cargile, retired. Holly A. Farrar became the new Executive Director.


FY 2011/2012

By the end of FY 2010/2011 on June 30th, a total of 239,040 families and 757,372 individuals had received assistance since the Center’s founding in 1983. We have come a long way from that first year when 687 families and 2,130 individuals were assisted.


Jacqueline Madden takes over as Executive Director upon the departure of Holly A. Farrar.
The Center celebrates its 30th Anniversary with an Open House and food drive.

September 2016

Mary Cassidy takes over as Executive Director upon the retirement of Jacqueline Madden. Mary was a former Board Member, and well acquainted with the mission and operations of the Center.

Donate Today to the
Community Survival Center

(413) 543-3930 | 240 Main St, Indian Orchard, MA 01151