MassBay Community College and the Rotary Club of Wellesley have joined efforts to combat food insecurity at the college. To launch this partnership, the two organizations will host a public community presentation: Food for Thought: Fighting Student Hunger on College Campuses. On December 3, 6:30pm, at the Wellesley Library, MassBay President Dr. David Podell will speak about the negative impact of food insecurity on students, initiatives MassBay has put in place to help students, and how the public can help in this effort.
EVENT: Food for Thought: Fighting Hunger on the College Campus
WHERE: Wakelin Room, Wellesley Main Public Library, 530 Washington Street, Wellesley
WHEN: Tuesday, December 3, 2019
This event is free and open to the public.
John Adams, Rotary Club of Wellesley
Liz Cooper, MassBay Community College
The numbers tell the story
“MassBay conducted a student survey in 2017 and found 52% of the students who participated were experiencing food insecurity, which isn’t surprising given the national average of students facing food insecurity is 56%,” said Podell. “We know if students are worrying about their next meal, they cannot focus on their studies. If they are hungry, they won’t be able to concentrate. In other words, hunger impedes students’ academic success. We quickly began several initiatives on campus to help students have access to food, including snack bins for all students, access to frozen meals to take home, fresh fruits and vegetables at a monthly farmers market, and meal cards to our cafeteria. We are extremely grateful for the Wellesley Rotary’s support, because together we are stronger.”
In Spring 2017, MassBay conducted a study and found that 52% of MassBay Community College students experience food insecurity. To fight hunger on its campus, the MassBay Student Development Office in partnership with other college departments spearheaded Student Nourishment and Care Committee (SNACC), a program with various initiatives to ensure students’ access to food while on campus. The SNACC program hosts monthly Mobile Food Markets, provides Snack Bins available to all students, and supports a Student Hunger Assistant Fund. The goals are to eliminate the stigma surrounding food insecurity, provide access to healthy food options, and eliminate barriers to college success. This year, the Rotary Club of Wellesley is supporting this effort under its Supporting Our Youth program. The Club’s goals are to raise awareness about this critical issue among Wellesley residents and the business community, and to secure funding for varied food insecurity initiatives at MassBay.
Grant money to beat food insecurity is secured
The Food for Thought presentation will be the first in a series of events geared towards fulfilling these two goals. The Club has already a secured a matching Rotary District Grant and is pledging a percentage of the funds raised at the annual Taste of Wellesley event to go towards supporting additional food insecurity initiatives.
The Rotary Club of Wellesley is one of Wellesley’s oldest community service groups and conducts local programs to benefit the Town of Wellesley. The public is always invited to any Rotary program. Please check the web site www.wellesleyrotary.org for times and location.
MassBay Community College is ranked by the Brookings Institution as one of the top schools for value added and earned salaries in the workforce. Ranked #1 for two-year colleges in Massachusetts, #2 in New England, and #16 nationally. The College’s facilities in Wellesley Hills, Framingham, and Ashland house day, evening and weekend classes that meet the needs of degree-seeking students and career minded life-long learners. Online options provide convenience and allow faculty to facilitate the learning process. Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and strives to meet the needs of the diverse local communities it serves.