MCC Daily Tribune
President's Wednesday Message
Tomorrow, most of us will sit down to a hearty meal with family and friends. We'll give thanks for this bounty, eat our fill and then some, make sure to save room for dessert, and walk away from the table knowing that there will be plenty of leftovers for a midnight snack.
But, as the results of our participation in the Wisconsin HOPE Lab study on student hunger and homelessness demonstrate, a surprising percentage of our students will experience a very different Thanksgiving. Almost 40% of our students report having gone hungry because they didn't have money for food, and almost 50% report eating less than they should because they couldn't afford food. Their cupboards are literally bare, and they are not alone.
The issue of college student hunger has grown so large that SUNY recently announced it was convening a system-wide taskforce on food insecurity on its campuses to inform the SUNY Board of Trustees. This is not only a New York concern. A team from MCC recently attended the Real College conference at Temple University that focused on how institutions can meet students' basic needs: it drew almost 500 participants from all sectors of higher education, a level of interest that surprised even the organizers.
MCC has a suite of programs to address student hunger: food pantries on the Brighton and Downtown campuses; a college-wide contract with Foodlink; Dreamkeepers microgrants; SingleStop access to social benefits; scholarships and financial aid. Yet, as many services as we offer, we know that there's more to do to meet the basic needs of our students so that they can focus on learning, persisting, and completing.
The challenges our students face are daunting, but with care and dedication, you work with them day in and out. You inspire them to achieve and succeed. Together, you persevere. Thank you!
To show our appreciation for your generosity of spirit and talents, my family has made donations to both the Brighton and Downtown campus pantries in honor of MCC's faculty and staff.
Over the next few weeks, Student Services will highlight an item of the week in the "Stall Talk" fliers: foods that are in short supply in the pantries. We hope that you will consider donating one of these canned goods to our student food banks. Parking Services will also soon begin its second holiday season of accepting canned goods from students and employees in lieu of fines, so look for this announcement.
In this season of togetherness, in a simple but essential way, we can work together to make our students' holidays--and every day--brighter. Please feel free to leave your comments here.
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