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 partners with the Amherst Health Department to collect neighborhood-specific data related to food and physical activity assets, barriers, and opportunities. We incorporate 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 receive training on the content area and survey techniques and survey 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 translate 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].
SNAP & Save at Amherst Markets
Both the Amherst Farmers Market and the Amherst Winter Farmers Market partner with the SNAP & Save program to provide up to $10 of matching funds for EBT customers per market visit. After the program was implemented during the 2015 summer market season, we saw a 58% increase in the number of SNAP transactions at the Amherst Farmers Market.