Middlesex adds two community college food pantries

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In collaboration with the Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Middlesex Community College is launching a pilot program to open food pantries on its Bedford and Lowell campuses.

The Bedford Food Pantry officially opened Wednesday, Dec. 7, offering nonperishable, supplemental food to enrolled Middlesex students, staff and faculty. Under the direction of MCC’s Center for Leadership & Engagement, the Bedford and Lowell Food Pantries will be open fall and spring semesters while classes are in session.

MCC President James Mabry cut the ribbon to open the Bedford Food Pantry with State Rep. Ken Gordon, Bedford Town Manager Rick Reed, Bedford Police Chief Robert Bongiorno and Selectwoman Margot Fleischman, among others, looking on.

“Like growing numbers of college students across the country, many Middlesex students are struggling to make ends meet while working and taking classes,” said Mabry. “For some, making a trade-off between food and other essential living expenses is a reality.

“Helping to alleviate the challenges associated with food insecurity and hunger will enable our students to remain in school, be successful, and become engaged community members,” he added.

According to Sheri Denk, Civic Engagement Specialist in the Center for Leadership & Engagement, the MCC Food Pantry will offer enrolled students food items packaged in cans, boxes and plastic. The pantries do not have refrigerators or freezers, Denk explained, so can only offer nonperishable, supplemental food to be prepared at home. If personal-care items, toiletries or paper goods are donated, they will also be offered, she added.

The Bedford Food Pantry is located in Bedford House (Building 5) in Room BH 001.

Serving the college community, it will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, fall and spring semesters while classes are in session.

The Lowell Food Pantry is located inside the Lowell Student Lounge, 45 Middle St. It will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, fall and spring semesters, while classes are in session, to serve the college community.

For more information about the MCC Food Pantry, contact Sheri Denk, Civic Engagement Specialist in the Center for Leadership & Engagement, at denks@middlesex.mass.edu or 978-656-3159.

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