After a 2018 campus wide Wisconsin Hope Lab survey revealed that 41 percent of Middlesex Community College students identified as having struggled with food insecurity during the past 12 months, MCC has expanded the days and hours that its food pantry is open on both the Bedford and Lowell campuses.
“Helping Middlesex students alleviate the challenges associated with food insecurity and hunger will enable them to remain in school, be successful and become engaged community members,” MCC President James Mabry said.
Opened in 2016, the MCC Food Pantry, in collaboration with the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, offers supplemental food to enrolled Middlesex students, staff and faculty. Under the direction of the Office of Student Engagement, the food pantries are now open four hours a day, four days a week (two days in Bedford, two days in Lowell), during fall and spring semesters while classes are in session.
The Lowell Campus Food Pantry, inside the Lowell Student Lounge at 45 Middle St., is now open Mondays and Tuesdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., while class is in session.
The Bedford Campus Food Pantry, in Bedford House (Building 5), Room BH 001, is now open Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., while classes are in session.
According to Jonathan Crockett, coordinator of wellness programming, the MCC food pantry on each campus offers enrolled students food items packaged in cans, boxes and plastic.
In addition, there is a “self-serve food cabinet” in the Cowan Center lobby on the Lowell campus that allows donors and recipients easy access to non-perishable food whenever the building is open. And, in collaboration with Corporate Chefs, the MCC Food Pantry is also launching a limited breakfast/lunch food-voucher program, allowing access to prepared food for students and employees who need it.
The MCC Food Pantry is also distributing prefilled bags of food and personal-care items to a variety of student-services offices on both campuses, to be provided directly to any students who need them throughout the year.
For more information, contact Crockett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-280-3785, or visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/studentlife/mccfoodpantry.