October 23, 2017

MWCC opens food pantry for students

Pictured (from left) are student leaders in civic engagement Jake VanHillo, Tammy Goodgion, Ifra Hassan, Laryssa Truesdale, Staff Assistant Julie Cronin, Gardner CAC Executive Director Julie Meehan, Director of the Brewer Center Shelley Errington Nicholson, Southern New England Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA Jana Murphy, and Mount Wachusett Community College President James Vander Hooven.

Mount Wachusett Community College has opened a food pantry for students living in nearby towns.

The Food for Thought Campus Pantry opened Friday, the college announced on Monday. It was created in response to food insecurity among community college students, which is becoming an increasing threat, said Jana Murphy, of Southern New England Campus Compact AmeriCorps VISTA, who was a student at the college last year.

The pantry will operate out of the Sen. Stephen M. Brewer Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement.

In a press release, Murphy cited a Wisconsin Hope Lab study finding two out of three college students are food insecure.

The pantry is operated in partnership with the Gardner Community Action Committee, which will provide food items for students living in Gardner, Templeton, Westminster, Ashburnham and Hubbardston. Mentors in the college's Serving Our Students program have already begun referring students to the new services, the college said.

The pantry will operate from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays. Students who are not able to access the food pantry during these hours can contact the Serving our Students office.

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