By Mindy Domb (from the Amherst Bulletin, Friday, August 22, 2014)
AMHERST — As we prepare for the start of the new PVTA bus to the Amherst Survival Center on Sept. 2, we want to reaffirm our gratitude to the community for rallying in support of public transportation service to our building. We’re grateful that so many agree that providing public transportation to a local food pantry and nutrition program is a no-brainer, an essential component of our community’s anti-hunger tool kit.
Every day, more and more individuals and families come to the Amherst Survival Center using public transportation so they can eat lunch, get their food pantry box, or visit the physician in our free health clinic.
The comments submitted by our participants, volunteers and friends helped to make the case for a bus stop at our new building on Sunderland Road. The work of the Amherst League of Women Voters, Know Your Neighbor group and the Amherst Human Service Network, combined with the advocacy of our state elected officials, both state Sen. Stan Rosenberg and state Rep. Ellen Story, amplified the support of our community.
The Bulletin’s reporting helped to inform the public about the need for public transportation in the area. And the efforts of Town Manager John Musante helped to ensure the bus stop became a reality.
We’re also indebted to our donors, the town of Amherst, the University of Massachusetts and the PVTA itself for helping to fund the interim public bus service that our visitors have used since October. And our thanks as well to our new friends at UMass Transit for making sure that our interim service occurred efficiently and expeditiously. We are grateful for their collaboration.
It took a village to create a new bus stop at the Amherst Survival Center. We know that every piece of advocacy helped to make this happen. And we’re grateful for it and for your continuing support.
Mindy Domb is executive director of the Amherst Survival Center.