Roman Guatam ’11 (left) and Will Matteo ’11 prepare lunch at the Amherst Survival Center.

Tracey Levy of the Amherst Survival Center speaks at a Center for Community Engagement event.

FacebookLike the Campus Challenge on Facebook. Share a story in the comments! Share a video!

Campus Challenge brochure

Food Drive poster

Faculty Lectures poster

Amherst College Staff, Students, and Faculty Rising Together to Address Poverty, Hunger, and Interfaith Engagement

We Did It!

June 13, 2012—We aimed to involve 75% of all faculty, staff and students in the Challenge; to collect 10,000 pounds of food and $10,000 for the Amherst Survival Center; and to engage 25% of all faculty, staff and students in interfaith engagement. The entire campus was mobilized around reducing poverty and hunger. From November through April 1 we collected 3,682 pounds of food. The campus rallied—sports teams, resident counselors, faculty and staff—and on June 2 we went over our goal of 10,000 pounds of food collected for the Amherst Survival Center. Read more in the report:

How Our Food Drive Is Making a Difference

On April 24, 2012, Tracey Levy of the Amherst Survival Center wrote to the Campus Challenge Committee:

The 7,000+ lbs of food that has been donated (so far) has provided nearly 5,400 meals to people in our region. This is critical as there was an 85% cut in federal funding for emergency food programs this year, and our Emergency Food Pantry saw 10% more people access food from its shelves.”

Read the full letter from the Survival Center.

Learn about our April Food Drive.


Check out the new Campus Challenge Calendar, for events, food donation opportunities and more.

The Challenge

The Campus Challenge is a way for all of Amherst College to celebrate what we are already doing; is a means by which together we can expand our expression of concern around poverty, hunger and interfaith engagement in the Amherst area; and is an opportunity to dissipate shadows around ‘us’ and ‘them’ and shed light on our best hopes for one another.

Amherst College’s Campus Challenge will focus on the alleviation of hunger and poverty. The Campus Challenge Committee has set the goal of 75-10-10-25:

Read Amherst Bulletin articles about Everybody Has a Story:
Amherst College seeking stronger social connections in dining hall gatherings” and
Focusing on real human contact.”

Get Involved

Campus Challenge

Educational Inequality and Opportunity Campus Challenge has met its Goals and has gone  'above and beyond'

This year the Campus Challenge has opened the gates wide for involvement. The response has been great! Our concrete goals  - 75-10-10-25 towards the alleviation of poverty and for educational opportunity - are being met and surpassed in an unassuming and amazing way. 

  • Over 75% of the campus was been involved;
  • Amherst students, staff, and faculty donated over 10,000 pounds of goods;
  • We  surpassed the $10,000 mark of financial donations to address poverty and educational opportunity;
  • Over 25% of the campus community engaged together around the values and beliefs associated with the issues of poverty and educational opportunity.

The Campus Challenge Committee gratefully thanks everyone –  staff, students and faculty  for their support of this effort. -- Paul Sorrentino and Sr. Chris Clark DHM, Co-chairs, Campus Challenge Committee

Video: Panel Discussion on “Educational Inequality and Opportunity”

Watch the April 17, 2013, panel discussion with Barry O’Connell, Professor of English; Vanessa Fong, Associate Professor of Anthropology; Ben Guest, Career Center Program Director & Careers in Education Professions Advisor; Karen Sanchez-Eppler, Professor of English and American Studies; and Luca Grillo, Assistant Professor of Classics.

Food and Educational Supplies Drives—SPRING Semester

We invite everyone to go "above and beyond" during this last stage of the Challenge. We continue to collect food and educational supplies around campus; some special drives will be carried out by teams and departments; and the Giving Tree is a great success for Sunderland Elementary School.


June 4 Employee Picnic

 For those attending the Employees' Picnic: please consider donating some educational supplies or some canned food when you come to the picnic.

April 1 through June 4, 2013  Fill-a-Truck Drive

Form friendly competition among teams, join a ‘tabling’ group, or donate individually. We will be happy to accept non-perishable food items and school supplies. Drop-off sites include: Alumni Gym, Barrett Hall, Cadigan Center, Chapin Hall, College Hall, Converse, Fayerweather, Frost Library, Merrill Science, Ponty Pool, Pratt, Seelye Mudd and Smith House.

Growing a Giving Tree

Look forward to something fresh. We are offering Giving Tree to benefit students at Sunderland Elementary School. Look for our table at Val and consider making a donation. Your gift, from one cent on up, will help the children have the snacks and supplies they need. We are at Val May 6-10, 11 am-2 pm and May 13-17, 11 am-2 pm.


Be Counted: Claim Your Donation April 1-June 4, 2013

Register your donation to Campus Challenge-sponsored drives OR TO ANY organization addressing poverty and/or educational opportunity. Complete a participation form online at The form may be submitted anonymously. Bonus: every participation form is entered into a drawing for $200 to be made at the end of April, 2013.

Amherst College CAMPUS CHALLENGE 2012-13

Briefly, the aim of the Amherst College Campus Challenge is to build community through actions that address a local societal need and through engagement in values and beliefs. Our specific societal-need emphasis for 2012-13 is poverty and educational opportunity. Visit for details. Our goals: 75% of Amherst students, staff and faculty participate in some way; 10,000 dollars are donated; 10,000 pounds of food and educational supplies are donated; 25% of Amherst students, staff and faculty engage around beliefs and values re: poverty and access to education

Even though our major drives this year were scheduled for spring, we made significant progress in the fall. We can reach these goals. The Campus Challenge Committee invites you to join them in making positive expressions of ways that Amherst staff, faculty and students relate with neighbors this year.

Campus Challenge 2012-13

Societal Need Being Addressed: Domestic Poverty and Educational Opportunity

Last year Amherst College was one of over 300 colleges and universities to successfully participate in the President’s Community Service and Interfaith Campus Challenge. The overarching goals of the President’s Challenge continue for 2012-13:

  • To increase social cohesion by having individuals and groups interact across their differences
  • To increase social capital by having campus groups work together to address common concerns
  • To address specific societal needs

Specific Goals for Amherst College in 2012-13

  • 75% of Amherst students, staff and faculty participate in some way
  • 10,000 dollars are donated
  • 10,000 pounds of food and educational supplies are donated
  • 25% of Amherst students, staff and faculty engage around beliefs and values re: poverty and access to education


Members of the College can register participation in ANY activity or donation that relates to poverty and acess to education and any activities around beliefs and values during the 2012-13 academic year.

Register Participation September 2012 through April 2013:

Participation Form

Our Core Partners

Yes: your own organizations and activities can be contributed to our 75-10-10-25 goals. We are also broadening established relationships with five core organizations:

12/11/2012 Announcement

Campus Challenge: Drive for Food Items and Educational Supplies

Campus Challenge this year is focused on Domestic Poverty and Educational Opportunity. We will offer major events beginning in January, but even now students, staff, and faculty are participating. Campus Challenge is encouraging conversations around beliefs and values and accepting donations of non-perishable food items and school supplies at various on-campus sites. We will have a drop-off site at the Winter Celebration Luncheon on 12/21. For most-wanted food and school items see “Do-It Yourself Resources” at Our five core partners: Amherst Survival Center, Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Homework House Holyoke, Amherst “A Better Chance” ABC House, Reader to Reader, Inc. We also welcome participation with other agencies and organizations.

Food & Educational Supply Drive Through Nov. 17

Non-perishable food and school supplies are being collected for Amherst Survival Center and the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.  Drop-off sites include: Chapin, College Hall, Converse, Development, Fayerweather, Library, Merrill Science, Pratt, Public Affairs, Seelye Mudd. Help us get a running start on our goal to donate 10,000 pounds of food and educational supplies by April 30, 2013. After you have made your donation complete a participation form online. Bonus: every participation form is entered into a drawring for $200 to be made at the end of April, 2013.

Campus Challenge Takes on Hurricane Sandy!

Campus Challenge needs your help to help those impacted by Hurricane Sandy. On Saturday at Pratt Field from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Campus Challenge volunteers will be accepting financial contributions to the American Red Cross and donations of needed supplies. A donation box for needed supplies will also be located at the entrance to Alumni Gymnasium throughout Homecoming Weekend.

The supplies most needed include blankets, candles, flashlights, batteries, water, food, new socks, towels, printer paper, baby items (diapers, etc.), pet food, dining supplies (plates, cups, forks, bowls, spoons, etc.), NEW winter wear (jackets, gloves, hats-- anything to keep folks warm --but used clothing will not be accepted) and cleaning supplies (buckets, squeegees, mops, bleach masks, gloves for cleaning, tarps, garbage bags).

Please consider helping if you can. For more information, contact Paul Sorrentino, director of religious life, at or 413-362-9786.