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Middlesex C.C. Expands Hours at Food Pantry

December 23, 2018

After a 2018 campuswide 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. Both pantries also now have refrigerators, allowing limited distribution of perishable items, such as fresh produce and dairy. A variety of personal-care items, toiletries or paper goods is also available.

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 foodpantry@middlesex.mass.edu or 781-280-3785, or visit https://www.middlesex.mass.edu/studentlife/mccfoodpantry .

Middlesex Community College Nursing graduates will soon have a smooth pathway to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing at Fitchburg State University, thanks to a new grant from the Higher Education Nursing & Allied Health Grant from the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

Fitchburg State, in partnership with Middlesex, Bristol and Quinsigamond community colleges, has received a $29,000 grant to develop admissions agreements to allow registered nurses with Associate degrees to seamlessly transfer to FSU and earn a BS in Nursing completely online.

The proposal will include guaranteed admissions agreements, and will:

n Allow the transfer of a greater number of credits than is customarily allowed for transfer students, including guaranteed admissions to Fitchburg State confirmed early in students’ careers.

n Utilize a revised online RN to BS in Nursing program, which allows students to earn a BS in Nursing while they are in the workforce.

n Take advantage of the relationship with academic partnerships that provide student support for advising and retention that is built upon the foundation of students having traditional faculty and staff advisers at FSU.

For more information about DHE Nursing & Allied Health Initiative grants, visit www.mass.edu/nahi/grants/awards.asp . For more information about MCC’s Nursing programs, visit www.middlesex.mass.edu/nursing .

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