Amherst Mobile Food Bank distribution finds new, temporary home

Eight staff-persons and volunteers from Amherst Survival Center are standing in front of one of The Food Bank's trucks. It is winter time.

Staff and volunteers – Amherst Survival Center, 2017

Housing construction at Southpoint Townhouses & Apartments in South Amherst has forced The Food Bank and Amherst Survival Center to search for a new home for a monthly Mobile Food Bank distribution that has taken place there for nearly three years. While the process has been somewhat challenging, our partner, Amherst Survival Center, has stepped in to ensure that Mobile Food Bank guests continue to have a distribution site in Amherst where they can pick up free, healthy groceries.  Beginning Wednesday, December 4 from 1 – 2 p.m., they will co-host the distribution event in their parking lot, located at 138 Sunderland Road in Amherst, on a temporary basis.

“When we got the sad news that [Southpoint Townhouses & Apartments] could no longer host the mobile, we immediately sprung into action,” said Lev Ben-Ezra, Executive Director of the Amherst Survival Center. “… we have ample parking in our lot, and a PVTA Bus #33 stops right at our front door.”

Cheo Ramos, far left, looks over bags of onions with a rep. from Amherst survival center

Cheo Ramos (far left), The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts

Cheo Ramos, Food Distribution Supervisor at The Food Bank says that he is working with Amherst Survival to find a permanent location for the Mobile event, but necessary requirements have made securing an appropriate spot in the area a bit difficult.

“We are in search of a new site in South Amherst with a large enough parking lot to run a Mobile,” Ramos said. “But while we have this temporary location, everything — including date, time, and the food we distribute — is going to be the same. We’re really grateful to be able to use Amherst Survival Center’s lot until a new location is found.”

The Food Bank has strong connections to the Survival Center. As a member agency, the nonprofit received nearly 260, 000 pounds of food (the equivalent of 217,000 meals) from our warehouse in fiscal year 2019 for its food pantry, meal program, and senior box program.

“We know that our community members want to eat healthy food, and want to prepare healthy food for their families,” Ben Ezra added. “Bringing healthy food directly to people is a key element of the Amherst Survival Center and Food Bank’s commitments to ensure the food security of our entire community.”

The Food Bank operates 26 Mobile Food Bank distribution events in all four counties of western Massachusetts. Funded in part by The Stop & Shop Family Foundation, these biweekly and monthly distributions are free and open to the public. Guests are welcome to pick up fresh vegetables, frozen meats, dairy products, and nonperishable goods. Learn more about our Mobile Food Bank.