Around Amherst: Farmers Market returns to Town Common this month

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AMHERST – The Amherst Farmers Market returns to downtown Amherst this month, once again in its 51st year on the Town Common lawn.

But unlike the past two years, when social distancing and other precautions were in place and vendors were spread out, the market will only take up about half the green space when it starts at 7:30am on April 23

The City Council recently authorized the market to have exclusive use of this portion of downtown until 1:30 p.m. every Saturday, along with 15 parking spaces on the Spring Street parking lot, six parking spaces on Boltwood Avenue, and five parking spaces on South Pleasant Street.

The market will have a maximum of 40 vendors with a variety of products including meats, cheeses, fruit and vegetables, honey, nuts, mushrooms, bread and ready meals and cut flowers.

After more than half a century, the weekly market remains an attraction throughout the spring, summer and fall, with city manager Paul Bockelman, who has the power to implement changes to how the market uses the market, noted this in a memo to councilors last May 10. The market had 2,400 visitors in July.

Amherst Farmers Market will again use grants from organizations like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Peoples Bank and Cooley Dickinson Hospital to support income-eligible shoppers. In addition, the market accepts food aid provided through programs such as WIC, SNAP, and HIP.

November 19th is the last market of the 2022 season.

youth heroes

Nominations are due this week for the Human Rights Youth Heroism Awards, which will be presented by the Amherst Human Rights Commission for the 16th time next month.

The commission hopes to identify youth who represent the ability to love and care for one another and to achieve the commission’s goals of fostering a community of mutual respect and honoring the diversity of Amherst.

Young people nominated should have demonstrated kind, useful, social courage and/or community service in their families, their schools or the community.

The Human Rights Commission, working with the Julius Ford Harriet Tubman Healthy Living Community, will celebrate the winners with a community picnic at the Mill River Recreation Area on May 7th.

To nominate, go to https://bit.ly/3jy3CZg.

Mental health check-in

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is hosting a “Fresh Check Day” on April 19 to serve as a check-in for mental health students.

Held from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Campus Center Auditorium, the trade show-like event, featuring interactive exhibits with peer-to-peer messaging, prizes and food, is a concept of the Jordan Porco Foundation.

Music and entertainment will also take place during the event.

Boston marathon runner

An Amherst resident will support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute by running Monday’s Boston Marathon.

Chaz Adams will be part of the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge Team at the 126th event.

Along with more than 500 Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge teammates from across the United States and around the world, Adams will run from Hopkinton to Boston in hopes of collectively raising $5.5 million for cancer research.

Affordable housing

Applications for affordable housing in Aspen Heights to be rented to households with incomes 80% or less of the area’s median income are being accepted on an ongoing basis.

Located at 408 Northampton Road, the former site of the Amherst Motel, Aspen Heights comprises 88 units, each with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Residents there also have access to a 24-hour fitness center, club room, and computer lounge with private meeting rooms.

For more information, call 617-782-6900 ext. 1. To apply, go to https://bit.ly/369cOAe.

Staff Writer Scott Merzbach can be reached at [email protected]

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