I Need Food

Amherst Survival Center offers a food pantry, free community meals, and a free community store. Their Mobile Food Bank distributes food weekly at several locations throughout Western Massachusetts. Other area food pantries include Northampton Survival Center, First Baptist Church, Amherst, Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.

For student parents: Children and teenagers are eligible for free meals at hundreds of locations throughout the state.

Do you receive MASSGrant or are you eligible for work study? Live off campus with roommates but buy and prepare your own food? You may be eligible for food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program.

  • Learn how low-income college students can qualify for SNAP in Massachusetts and review SNAP rules and rights for college students.
  • The Food Bank of Western MA can help you enroll in SNAP. The fastest way to apply is by phone. Call 413-247-9738 and ask for a SNAP representative, or visit Apply for SNAP for information and an application.
  • Throughout fall and spring semesters, SNAP representatives hold bimonthly information sessions at the Off Campus Student Center.
  • Or stop by at Amherst Survival Center (138 Sunderland Rd.) Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. No appointment necessary.

UMass Dining Service offers food security initiatives for students facing food insecurity and the UMass Dining Meal Plan Office can review your meal plan options and make recommendations.

UMass employees and graduate students are eligible for YCMP2 campus meal plan. Meal swipes can be used in all campus dining halls and retail establishments. The plan costs about 20% less than paying cash and never expires.

Monday – Friday after 9 p.m., campus community members can receive a 40% discount on select menu items at Harvest Market in the Campus Center.

For short-term emergency situations, please visit the Dean of Students Office. Several options are available, including short-term (interest free) loans and emergency meal swipes.

Download this cookbook for recipes, tips, and strategies for preparing delicious meals on only $4 a day.

Student Care and Emergency Response Fund & Student Care Supply Closets

The Student Care and Emergency Response Fund can provide help to students with economic insecurity who are encountering unforeseen expenses. Contact the Dean of Students Office at 413-545-2684 to schedule a meeting with a case manager.

Student Care Supply Closets provide free toiletries and household items for students facing economic insecurity and/or unexpected financial emergency. Students needing supply closet items are invited to drop by one of the Supply Closet locations listed below and a staff member will be able to assist.