Amherst Mobile Market
Healthy Hampshire supported Many Hands Farm Corps to pilot a mobile farmers market in four Amherst neighborhoods in 2020. Over 170 residents purchased discounted farm shares that they picked up at the market, many using SNAP and getting reimbursed through the Healthy Incentives Program. The Amherst Mobile Market is guided by community members through the Amherst Mobile Market Planning Committee, which is currently planning for a second market season in 2021. Check out the Amherst Mobile Market Facebook page for program updates and contact Caitlin Marquis if you are interested in getting involved in the planning committee. You can also check out WCVB's Chronicle story on the Amherst Mobile Market here.
Food Justice Planning Process
Healthy Hampshire worked with Family Outreach of Amherst to bring together residents experiencing food insecurity and food system practitioners in a planning process that focused on increasing food justice in Amherst. This bilingual (English-Spanish) and bicultural process focused heavily on community building, especially building bridges between residents and practitioners working to address challenges that residents face. The planning process produced a report [PDF] available on our Resources page.
The Town of Amherst is in the process of developing a complete streets policy with funding provided by Healthy Hampshire. It is anticipated that this process will yield a Complete Street Policy that will meet the requirements of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s Complete Streets Funding Program, while also identifying the unique needs of the Town as discussed in the Master Plan and Transportation Plan. This policy will be submitted to MassDOT with the hope of being able to compete for state funds to implement additional projects in Town to enhance walking and bicycling in Amherst.
Equity and Access in Amherst neighborhoods
Healthy Hampshire partnered with the Amherst Health Department to collect neighborhood-specific data related to food and physical activity assets, barriers, and opportunities. We incorporated elements of participatory research into our data collection methodology by hiring young people who live in or near the neighborhood of focus to administer the survey. They received training on the content area and survey techniques and surveyed their neighbors. We love this approach as it offers short-term work for young people, helps them to build skills and knowledge in a new area, and we learn first-hand from them about their experiences living in these neighborhoods. We translated our surveys into Spanish and Portuguese, and many young people are able to verbally administer in these languages. Two reports have been produced using these methods, one focused on the East Hadley Road neighborhood [PDF] and another on the Fort River School neighborhood [PDF].