Around Amherst: Community Thanksgiving meals open to all

Staff Writer
Monday, November 21, 2022

AMHERST — Community meals for Thanksgiving are returning, with opportunities to take the food to go, on Wednesday and Thursday in Amherst.

On Wednesday from noon to 3 p.m., the Amherst Survival Center will stage its meal at its 138 Sunderland Road site.

Free and open to all, the event this year is titled “Celebrating Native American Heritage & Giving Thanks for Our Community.” Food will be served in the center’s dining room, with sit-down and takeout aoptions.

“The meal will include traditional Thanksgiving items, like turkey and mashed potatoes, and several Indigenous recipes,” said Executive Director Lev Ben-Ezra.

Staff and volunteers are making the food that will honor Indigenous peoples, but will also have Thanksgiving staples, including pies prepared by teens at North Star in Sunderland and turkeys cooked by University of Massachusetts Dining.

Tables will be set up both indoors and outdoors and live music will accompany the meal, Ben-Ezra said.

“This is an enormous event to be grateful for and we’re thrilled we’ll be able to come together to give thanks,” Ben-Ezra said.

On Thanksgiving Day, Not Bread Alone, a program of the Center for Human Development, will have its meal served at First Congregational Church, 165 Main St.

As at the Survival Center, there will be sit-down and to-go options, said program supervisor Bob Stover. Guests should enter via the back entrance to the church.

Volunteers will start at 9 a.m., serve the meal at about 1 p.m., and finish up by 4 or 4:30 pm. They are advised to bring a mask or face covering to wear while preparing the food, setting up or doing cleanup work.

Generation Ratify events

Generation Ratify Amherst, the local chapter of the youth-led organization promoting gender equity and passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, is holding two events over the weekend.

On Saturday from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Woodbury Room at the Jones Library, 43 Amity St., the chapter’s creative team is staging the Feminist Art Gallery Benefit. Proceeds from the art show and silent auction will benefit the Abortion Rights Fund of Western Mass.

The following day, beginning at 11 a.m., Generation Ratify will hold its third annual banner drop to promote reproductive rights. That takes place at First Churches in Northampton, in collaboration with Tapestry Health. A series of speakers from local organizations and elected officials are expected to address the gathering when the banner is unfurled.

UMass Pavilion

UMass will be constructing the UMass Service Workers Pavilion to honor campus employees following a $7 million gift from an anonymous donor.

The pavilion will go up on land next to the Arthur F. Kinney Center for Renaissance Studies on East Pleasant Street by next summer. It is being designed by Sigrid Miller Pollin, and will be open for quiet contemplation and gatherings.

“This beautiful new addition to campus will be dedicated to our service workers, who played an immense role in sustaining the university during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will provide an enduring reminder of their importance to UMass Amherst,” Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said in a statement.

Planner departs

Ben Breger, a municipal planner in the Planning Department for the past two years, recently left for a position with the state Department of Transportation.

Breger had served as the staff liaison to several Amherst committees, including the Historical Commission, during his tenure.

Congo family leaves

A Congolese family that arrived in Amherst on Nov. 20, 2018 from a Rwandan refugee camp has departed for a new home in Indiana.

The Berchmas Buseruka family, as its members have been known in town because that is their patriarch’s name, moved to a community near Indianapolis earlier this year, where they bought a home.

While in Amherst, the 10 members of the family learned English, the school-age children went to public schools while the adults landed jobs. They had been assisted by members of a circle of care at Grace Episcopal Church after coming to town as part of the Refugee Resettlement Program of Catholic Charities in Springfield.


MONDAY: Board of Registrars, 10 a.m., Amherst Housing Authority, 1 p.m., and Town Council, 6:30 p.m.

TUESDAY: Elementary School Building Committee, 8:30 a.m.