Magic Food Bus at MxCC opens for students facing food insecurity

Middlesex Community College cut the ribbon Sept. 21 to its Magic Food Bus, an initiative to help students and staff facing food insecurity.

The MxCC Magic Food Bus seeks to alleviate the challenges of food insecurity, defined as the lack of nutritious food, faced by college students and their families. The food pantry will provide nonperishable food items, toiletries and other items.

There are no eligibility requirements, so anybody with an MxCC identification card can be a shopper.

While we are familiar with the struggles of paying for higher education, many students—especially at community colleges—also struggle to pay for food, transportation, housing and other daily bills despite working multiple jobs.

Professor Judith Felton, Human Services Program Coordinator at Middlesex Community College, told about 100 people gathered for the ribbon cutting Wednesday that the college cares deeply about a its students and knows that when students have enough to eat, it supports their GPA and school success. When a student can focus on his or her studies rather than working 3, 4 or 5 jobs, they’ll be much more successful in class.

As we know, many people in Connecticut struggle to afford the basics. The United Way ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) Report, released in 2014, took a look at financial hardship and found that 1 in 3 households in Connecticut struggles to afford the basics of housing, childcare, food, transportation, health care and taxes.

The Magic Food Bus, which was made possible by many partner organizations and donors, is a wonderful way for the college to support its struggling student population so they can continue their studies.

Here at Middlesex United Way, we are also committed to food security, health and family financial security, and we are so proud of the college for undertaking this effort. Congratulations to MxCC and all of those involved in this wonderful effort.

Monetary and nonperishable food donations are being accepted in the several locations on campus including Snow Hall, in room 508, Wheaton Hall, in the office of the Business/Marketing programs, Founders Hall, in room 104, and Chapman Hall, in the library. Items needed include cereal, boxed or bottled juice, boxed milk, condiments, brown rice, vegetable juice, coffee, and grab 'n go items such as granola bars, fruit cups, and snacks.

The bus is parked permanently in the college’s lower parking lot. It will be open throughout the academic year Mondays 3p.m.-5p.m., Tuesdays 11a.m.-3p.m., Wednesdays 12p.m.-5p.m., and Thursdays 11a.m.-3p.m. The bus will be staffed by student and staff volunteers. Additional volunteers are welcome and should contact Judith Felton at jfelton@mxccc.edu.

-Kevin Wilhelm
President and CEO

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