We know that, unfortunately, more Amherst residents will be facing financial hardship. Throughout the pandemic, we have been compiling lists of resources and supports at amherstcovid19.org and staff stand ready to help you navigate them. If you know anyone else who would find this information helpful, please share it with them.
Visit our Food Resources Page for complete listing.
The Amherst Survival Center is a community center that offers lots of resources to help people meet their basic needs. They provide free meals, free groceries, free clothing, free medical care, and free community activities. Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 12-3, the Survival Center offers pre-packaged to-go meals and grocery items from their food pantry. Accommodations available for grocery delivery or pick-up.
Not Bread Alone serves free hot meals outside the lower levels of First Congregational Church of Amherst at 165 Main Street. Wednesday meal is served between 3:45 PM and 5:15 PM and Saturdays and Sundays between 11:45 AM and 1:15 PM.
The First Baptist Church operates a food pantry at 434 N Pleasant St on Wednesdays 2-4pm.
SNAP is a federal nutrition assistance program for low-income individuals and families that provides benefits via an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.
The SNAP time limit and work rules have been suspended because of COVID-19. If you were previously denied SNAP for not meeting the work rules, you should reapply for benefits.
Note that SNAP benefits are factored into public charge determinations. You should speak with your immigration attorney before applying. If you do not have an immigration attorney, you can contact these services to request free legal help.
Health, Insurance & Recovery Assistance
Visit our Health Resources page for more information
Mass Support provides 8 counselors in western Mass for persons of all ages, call 1-888-215-4920
Health Care For All
Free and multilingual Health Coverage HelpLine: 1-800-272-4232
MassHealth Customer Service Center: 1-800-841-2900 (TTY:1-800-497-4648)
Massachusetts Health Connector Website, Health Insurance for people not eligible for Medicare
Health Care Centers near/in Amherst
Cooley Dickinson Hospital (Northampton), 413-582-2000
John P. Musante Health Center (Amherst), 413-835-4980
Addiction and Recovery Services
Housing & Utilities
Visit our Housing Resources page for more resources.
Amherst residents can receive emergency rental assistance through a program administered by Community Action Pioneer Valley with money allocated from the Amherst Affordable Housing Trust. Interested residents can apply here.
WayFinders provides short-term financial assistance to low-income families, couples, and individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Individuals must first fill out a housing consumer education center assessment form.
You will still be responsible for your rent or mortgage payments, so contact your landlord or lender to talk through delayed or partial payment options.
The MA Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has suspended the disconnection of utility services for nonpayment during this state of emergency.
Eversource is also eliminating late-payment charges and offering flexible payment plans. To learn more about financial assistance available, visit their website or call 800-592-2000 to speak with a customer service representative.
Mass.gov daily Town Hall sessions to help with unemployment benefits
The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) offers three economic assistance programs:
Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children (TAFDC)
Emergency Aid to the Elderly, Disabled, and Children (EAEDC)
State Supplement Program (SSP)
To learn more about each program and eligibility requirements, visit DTA’s website.
Stavros Small Grants (413) 256-0472 x201
Provides rental assistance, food insecurity, pharmacy co-pays, medical supplies, PPE for those eligible to become a STAVROS consumer or those with a disability
Community Action Community Resources & Advocacy
Resources for utility bills, rent, water/sewer, hot water, internet SNAP applications, Call 413-475-1570
Western Massachusetts Community Aid
The Western Massachusetts Community Aid is a grassroots movement that provides opportunities to post updates about support and requests for assistance.
Other Sources of Unemployment Assistance
Your Rights as an Employee and Other Business Guidance
Learn about topics such as Fair Labor Division FAQs for employee rights and employer obligations during the COVID-19 emergency from the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office and MDPH.