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Around Town: Fundraiser planned for Not Bread Alone soup kitchen

To sustain the Not Bread Alone program that serves around 200 free meals each week, an evening of food and dance with a Caribbean flare will be held next week.

The Sabor y Ritmo/ Flavor and Rhythm Dinner Dance fundraiser takes place Feb. 22 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 165 Main St.

Hannah Elliott, program supervisor for the Center for Human Development program, said the dinner will include Puerto Rican dishes, such as habichuelas guisadas, a vegan entree with red beans and seasoned potatoes, and Columbian dishes, including asjianco, a flavorful chicken stew. Plantain will also be on the menu.

Bob Stover, a coordinator of the soup kitchen, will serve as DJ playing salsa, merengue and bachata music, and participants will have a chance to learn how to dance to those tunes.

“People who don’t want to dance can watch a professional salsa duo that will be performing,” Elliott said.

Not Bread Alone typically has 80 guests for dinner on Saturdays and 30 to 40 Wednesday afternoons and Sundays, Elliott said. Saturdays also feature a grocery distribution.

Admission will be on a sliding scale of $8 to $20.

Tickets are available at Hastings at 45 South Pleasant St. and at the door.

Elliott said the fundraiser is one of a number of activities being launched, including movie nights and workshops in nonviolence and nutrition.

Volunteers have also begun the Bridges Coffee House at the church, where every second Saturday of the month, from 2 to 4 p.m., there will be an open mic, songs, poems and opinions. Elliott said Bridges is organized by volunteer Dorothy Cresswell.

For more information, call Elliott at 548-1271.

Parking plan continues

Senior citizens are still eligible to buy stickers to park in downtown Amherst.

Town Manager John Musante told the Select Board this week that the program, which has been run on a trial basis for more than two years, has met the goal of increasing participation at events held at the Senior Center.

For $25, seniors get an annual permit to park in the Boltwood parking garage or a lot next to Ann Whalen Apartments.

Data indicates that attendance has gone up since the program was implemented, as 63 of the 145 people who purchased stickers increased their number of visits, and just 25 decreased.

“I think it’s fair to conclude the parking program has contributed to that,” Musante said.

Children’s concert

MarKamusic, a band geared to children ages 4 to 10 and their families, will perform at the Woodbury Room at the Jones Library Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

MarKamusic is described as a high-energy band performing traditional, folkloric and pop music of South and Latin American origin, fused with Latin jazz and western textures.

The program is supported by the Friends of the Jones Library System and the Amherst Cultural Council.

Meetings

Wednesday: Planning Board, 7 p.m., Town Room, Town Hall.

Thursday: Jones Library Investment Committee, 1 p.m., Trustees Room, Jones Library.

Black history lunch at Survival Center

Black History Month is being celebrated by the Amherst Survival Center with a traditional luncheon Tuesday at noon at its 138 Sunderland Road site.

Local cooks will contribute dishes including Louisiana Fried Chicken, collards, macaroni and cheese and black eyed peas. Musical entertainment will be provided by the Amherst Gospel Choir.

Prior to the center’s move late last year, the dinner was usually held at the former North Congregational Church.

“The turnout for this event has grown so much over the years that we usually have to hold it off site,” said Tracey Levy, program director, in a statement. “This year we are so excited to be able to host the celebration in our new building.

The lunch is scheduled during school vacation week to encourage families to participate.

For more information, call 549-3968, ext. 102 or send email to tracey@amherstsurvival.org.

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