Food Pantry Basics:
Food Pantry hours of operation:
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 12pm to 3pm
The Food Pantry is available to residents of Amherst, Belchertown, Deerfield, Granby, Hadley, Leverett, Pelham, Shutesbury, South Deerfield, South Hadley, Sunderland, Ware and Whately, and to those who are currently homeless. (Individuals from other towns will be provided with an “Emergency Box,” of limited items to help tide you over while you get connected with resources in your home community.)
- We always accept new registrations. You can register and shop on the same day. See New Pantry Shopper below.
- The Food Pantry is free! There is no income cap. Everyone who needs food is welcome.
- We do not require state ID. There are no requirements regarding immigration or citizenship status and our services are not subject to Public Charge laws. We do not share personal information with anyone.
- You can visit the Food Pantry once each calendar month. If you are in need of additional food before the next month, you can return for an “emergency box”.
- Your monthly pantry shop will consist of roughly a week of groceries for your household. You will receive prepackaged boxes of non-perishable items (canned vegetables, beans, rice, cereal, pasta, peanut butter, tuna etc.) plus fresh milk, cheese, eggs, produce, frozen meat, and personal care products.
- The pantry allocation is large, and you must take the whole thing with you. Plan on 2-3 large boxes per every 4 people in your household.
- As a COVID precaution, please do not bring your own bags. All groceries will be provided in a box for you to take with you.
Current Pantry Shoppers:
We understand that some of our currently enrolled Food Pantry shoppers are having difficulty getting to the Center to pick-up their monthly Food Pantry Distribution. Here are ways you can pick up your food:
- Pick it up in person. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 12-3. With advance notice, we may be able to have your distribution ready and bring it out to the parking lot for you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
- Authorize another individual to pick it up on your behalf. You can do this by a) completing this form, or b) by emailing email@example.com at least two full business days prior to picking up your groceries.
- Authorize a local support agency you already work with to pick it up on your behalf (ie Bridge Family Resource Center, ServiceNet, VA, etc.) You must make these arrangements directly with your support agency. Support Agencies/Collaborative Partners: See this document for further info.
- If you reside in Amherst, Belchertown, or Pelham AND a member of your household is 65+, you can have your distribution delivered to one of the following locations via our Senior Mobile Nutrition Program (see below). Locations include: Bangs Center, Ann Whalen, Chestnut Court, Clark House, Belchertown Senior Center, Pelham Police Department.
- If none of these work for you, please contact us and we will do our best to figure out how to get food for you! Please email PantryCOVID19@amherstsurvival.org. Please be patient as we are processing numerous requests.
New Pantry Shoppers:
Register in person:
- Come during our open hours.
- Bring proof of address. (See below.)
- Complete CDBG Form-COVID-19. You can download and complete this form ahead of time, or complete it when you are here. You may make multiple copies of page 2 for additional household members.
- Leave with food.
Register electronically or by mail:
- Complete the CDBG Form- COVID-19. You may make multiple copies of page 2 for additional household members.
- Complete the Authorized Pick Up & Preferences Form to indicate your preferences for frozen protein (Chicken, Beef, Pork, Fish, Vegetarian), any special needs, and designate anyone you would like to pick up your groceries on your behalf.
- Provide proof of address. (See below.)
- Submit the CDBG Form, Authorized Pick Up & Preferences Form and copies/photos of proof of address. You can:
- Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org (allow 2 business days for processing) or
- Mail them to Amherst Survival Center Food Pantry, PO Box 9629, North Amherst, MA 01059 (allow 2 weeks for receipt and processing).
- Pick up your groceries. (See “Current Pantry Shopper” above for options.)
Proof of Address:
You will need to provide proof of address for each member of the household. Proof of address includes anything showing both name and address. We do not require ID or any proof of income.
- For individuals age 18+: a piece of mail, a letter from a landlord, a health card, report card, an ID, or a letter from another social service or benefits provider that has already verified your address (ie: Head Start, Fuel Assistance, social worker), see below.
- For children under 18: if you do not have something that shows both name and address (examples above), you can provide documentation of their name (insurance card, birth certificate, school ID, etc.).
- Letter from social service/benefit provider: If you receive other benefits (eg. Head Start, Fuel Assistance, SNAP, Mass Health) for which you have already verified your address and household members, you may also provide a letter from that agency verifying the members of your household and address. If providing a letter: Ask your case manager or worker to complete a letter on agency letterhead or an email from their agency email with the statement “I have verified that the following members of the household (list all names) reside at the following address (list full address).” The letter must be signed and dated and include contact information for the person writing it. If sent via email, the email signature is sufficient.
If you have additional questions about the pantry or what counts as proof of address, please feel free to contact the Food Pantry Coordinator at email@example.com, 413-549-3968 x104.
Amherst Mobile Food Pantry:
The Amherst Survival Center is proud to be part of the network of mobile food programs in western Massachusetts as a result of our partnership with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. The program distributes free produce once a month, on the first Wednesday of the month, from 1pm to 2pm.
To pick up food, here’s what you need to know:
- Pick up is on the first Wednesday of the month from 1-2pm.
- The Mobile Food Program is being temporarily held at Amherst Survival Center, 138 Sunderland Rd. while we look for a new South Amherst Location (unfortunately, SouthPoint Apartments is no longer hosting it).
- The distribution includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and meat (when available).
- One distribution per household.
- Every household is eligible, no documentation needed! No residency or income requirements!
- In response to COVID-19 bags will be provided. No reuseable shopping bags are allowed.
Senior Mobile Nutrition Program
This program serves seniors from Amherst, Pelham and Belchertown. Participants will receive pre-assembled boxes of a variety of non-perishable groceries along with milk, cheese, eggs, produce, and frozen meat. Groceries are delivered each month to senior apartment buildings, the Amherst Senior Center, or the Pelham Fire Station, or the Belchertown Senior Center for easy pick-up. Staff and volunteers from the senior centers may be able to deliver groceries directly to your door. Please contact them if you need assistance.
As we adjust our operations due to COVID-19, delivery dates will vary. You will be contacted by a staff member or volunteer for your location regarding the schedule.
Sign up for the program by contacting the Amherst Survival Center Food Pantry Coordinator at 413-549-3968 x104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.