The Community Store is currently closed and is not accepting donations at this time.
(See below for an additional statement about the Store from the Center’s Board of Directors.)
Resources currently available include:
- A variety of items continue to be available to individuals experiencing homelessness. We have socks, underwear, shirts, hats/gloves, coats, sleeping bags, and some additional clothing. Please ask a staff member at ASC.
- Salvation Army Vouchers: Community members can access vouchers to select items at the Salvation Army. Available Tuesdays from 1-3. Vouchers are written by Salvation Army volunteers according to their guidelines ($50-$150 per household).
- 80 Acres, a local organization, has started a new Free Store! A huge thank you to 80 Acres for helping fill this critical need! They are located at 284 N. Pleasant St, Amherst and are open Tues 1:30-5pm, Weds 12-4:30pm, and the last Sunday of the month from 3-6pm. Reach out to FreeStore@80acres.org for more information on donations & volunteer opportunites.
- Children’s clothing is available at several other locations nearby. Here is a current list.
- We plan to host additional one-time pop-up boutiques following the very successful winter coat pop-up store. Future dates will be shared on our facebook, e-news, and even calendar.
We recommend contacting the Hartsprings Foundation at 888-413-2227 or www.donatehartsprings.org. Their purpose is funding Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs in MA and CT.
A message from the Board of Directors:
We are sorry that the Community Store is still closed! The Community Store is a vital community resource important to many in our community, and an essential part of the Amherst Survival Center since its founding. The Store was temporarily closed at the start of COVID and is not yet reopened. We know this leaves an unmet need – especially for adult clothing, and we are working to implement additional intermediary steps to help with this.
Why is the Community Store still closed? In 2020 we were forced to close the store due to COVID, and began using that space for food storage and subsequently for the Food Pantry Grocery Delivery Program. Delivery is still in very high demand, and we don’t have enough room in our building for both programs.
The Community Store is also important. Why is the Delivery Program being prioritized? The Board and staff have regular conversations about the full range of competing priorities that the Center works to address. We continue to devote that room in the building to the grocery delivery program because of the record levels of food insecurity in our community (higher than at any time during the pandemic). The grocery delivery program provides essential access to food. We currently deliver twice monthly groceries to ~1,000 people per month, across the Pantry’s 13 town service area. The feedback received and a recent survey have reiterated how critical the delivery program is to many who can’t get here otherwise.
Will the Community Store ever reopen? Yes! We absolutely intend to reopen the store but have not set a timeline yet. We need more space to operate this and other programs at the scale our community needs, thus the solution will require time and careful planning. We do not expect to open the store in 2023. We are working on additional interim strategies. See above for resources currently available.
Are there any clothing resources available now? Yes! See above for resources currently available.
We appreciate those who have raised their voices to advocate for the reopening of the Community Store. We know that the store is beloved and provides a unique and essential role in the lives of many. We take this feedback seriously and have not forgotten the huge importance of the store. We continue to do our best to use every inch of space, every hour of volunteer effort, and every donation received to meet as many of the critical needs of our community as we are able. Feedback about the Community Store or any other Center issue may be provided at the Center or by completing this form. Thank you for your patience, understanding, and feedback.
–Amherst Survival Center Board of Directors, April 2023