SGA Environmental Committee

SGAEC - Food & Waste - Webpage

SGAEC - Food & Waste - Working Group - Google Doc

This Google Doc presents the "Mission" and "Current Initiatives" of the SGAEC Food & Waste Working Group. It also contains links to: Online Resources, Organizations, Books, Films, Festivals, Programs, Clubs and More...Check them out and get involved today!

UMass Dining Services

The Mission of UMass Dining is to contribute to the campus life experience by providing a variety of healthy and flavorful meals featuring local, regional, and world cuisine in a sustainable and environmentally conscious manner.

UMass Center for Agriculture

The purpose of the Center for Agriculture is to serve as a portal through which individuals, industries, and agencies can connect with scientists and educators. Simply put, the Center for Agriculture provides access to all of the expertise within the agricultural programs of the university.

Local Food Subject Research Guide

This is a “Subject Resource Guide” on “Local Food” assembled by UMass Librarian Madeleine Charney. It is a good reference for local food resources around UMass and beyond.

The new webpage focuses on “Sustainability, Education and Research.” It is broken down into four main areas consisting of: “Research, Campus, Study and Get Involved.” Check it out!

Sustainable Food and Farming Series

Enroll in one of the UMass Amherst green programs or courses and ready yourself for a position in the green marketplace. Choose from entire, self-designed, Bachelor’s degree completion programs or take a non-credit course to boost your green credentials.

Food Security and Hunger Portal

Understanding Food Security and Hunger in the Pioneer Valley - By Lily Brown

Whatever form it takes- an hour-long bus ride to the closest supermarket, the high cost of fresh produce, or the red tape that surrounds applying for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, (SNAP, formally the Food Stamp program), lack of accessibility prevents food from reaching the tables of those who need it most. Fortunately a large number of food distribution resources exist in our local community to help address this problem. They include, but are not limited to the Amherst Survival Center, Not Bread Alone, the Bangs Community Center and the Food Bank of Western Mass. Many of these sites offer SNAP application assistance and are located on PVTA bus routes. These organizations do much to alleviate the extent of our community’s food access problems, however, lack of visibility prevents them from being utilized to their full potential. In addition to providing nourishment to hungry people, these organizations provide a nurturing environment that fosters community building. Here are some ways you can learn about food security and hunger issues in the Pioneer Valley, as well as actively expanding your own sense of community.

Experiential Learning

Commonwealth College is home to several Community Service Learning Classes, including Honors 292-S Engaging with the Community: Food Security and Hunger in the Connecticut River Valley, offered in the fall semester.

              As a member of this class, you will spend 30 hours getting to know a site that deals specifically with hunger and/or food security issues in our community, such as the Amherst Survival Center, in addition to participating in a multitude of other relevant experiences such as a farm tour of Nuestras Raices or gleaning crops from a local farm to deliver to a food distribution site. Through the CSL program, you begin to learn how to define community service through your own hands-on experience. This class is 4 credits, and you do not need to be a member of the Commonwealth College to participate.

For more information visit:

Volunteer Opportunities

Not Bread Alone

NBA is a Community Meal Program located in the center of Amherst at the Congregational Church. Community meals are served Wednesday from 4-5:30pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am-1:30pm. Groups of eight are needed before meal times to prepare and cook food, especially on Wednesdays from 2-5pm. If you are interested in volunteering, email, or pop in for a meal and meet some new friends from your area.

Amherst Survival Center

“Since 1976, the Amherst Survival Center has promoted the health and well being of residents of Franklin and Hampshire counties with a wide variety of programs designed to help people meet their basic needs. The Center serves over three thousand people each year. Our services, all of which are free, include a Food Pantry, Soup Kitchen, Drop-In Health Clinic, Free Store, and a variety of other supports.”

Volunteers are the backbone of this organization, if you are interested in volunteering contact Tracey Levy at 549-3968 ex 202 or email her at

Western Massachusetts Food Bank

Visit to find out about the leaps and bounds the Western Massachusetts Food Bank has taken to ensure food security for all in our community. Some progressive examples of the Food Bank’s work include a Food Bank Farm and a Brown Bag grocery program for elders. Information about volunteering can be found on their website.


Traditional Food Stamps have been replaced by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. To find out more information about the program, including how to apply if you are in need visit The Amherst Survival Center and the Western Massachusetts Food Bank both provide assistance through SNAP’s application process.

Recommended Readings

“World Hunger: 12 Myths” and Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore-Lappe

All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America? Joel Berg

Community Involved in  Sustaining Agriculture

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) strengthens local agriculture by building connections between farmers and the community.

UMass Amherst Library - Local Resources - Sustainability

Greening the Valley - Research Database

This database* is a supplement to the 2010 exhibition at the UMass Fine Arts Center, "Greening the Valley: Sustainable Architecture in the Pioneer Valley." It focuses on resources of the built environment, of contemporary architecture, and of renewable technology. It also touches on economic and social sustainability.

*Created by Eva Fierst and Kim Carlino from the University Gallery, UMass. The software used for this map is VUE, an open source program created by Tufts University