food pantry thanksgiving mealsThis morning, Monroe County Community College officially launched operations of the new MCCC Food Pantry, which is located just off the dining hall of the Warrick Student Services/Administration Building.

“Nearly a third of MCCC students have demonstrated signs of low food security according to a 2020 Trellis Company research survey on student financial wellness,” said Dr. Joshua Myers, executive director of The Foundation at MCCC, which partnered with the college, the Monroe County Opportunity Program and numerous donors to establish the MCCC Food Pantry.

The same study found that nearly 40 percent of MCCC students have run out of money three or more times in the past year.

“No student should ever have to choose between continuing their studies and putting food on the table. Basic needs are now the core of what we are trying to meet through The Foundation at MCCC, because we know a student who is hungry, lacks transportation or is homeless is unlikely to succeed,” Myers said. “We want these students to complete their studies at MCCC and drive up not only their economic trajectory, but also the economic trajectory of their entire family.”

Myers joined MCCC President Dr. Kojo Quartey, The Foundation at MCCC Secretary and Group Three Director Marjorie McIntyre, MCOP Executive Director Stephanie Kasprzak and MCOP Associate Director Dr. Shawnterra Glasgow-Scott in cutting a ceremonial ribbon to mark the grand opening of the Food Pantry.

“MCCC is proud to partner with MCOP to provide this important service to our students,” said Quartey. “We cannot meet our students’ many and varied needs alone, and partnerships like this one are yet another example of the caring community of support that we have here in Monroe.”

In conjunction with the grand opening, The Foundation at MCCC is distributing a limited number of free, pre-packaged Thanksgiving meals today to students who pre-registered to receive them.

As of this morning, 48 students were signed up to receive the meals, which will feed about 250 people, Myers said. Food for the drive was provided by MCOP, Gleaners of Detroit and the local Meijer store, which worked hard to ensure items in high demand for the upcoming holiday were available, according to Glasgow-Scott.

According to Kasprzak, the idea for establishing the Food Bank at MCCC was sparked when an intern at MCOP who was attending Siena Heights University’s MCCC location told her that there was a need among MCCC students for food security. 

That intern, Jonas Lowe, is still with MCOP and now serves as the organization’s food programs coordinator.

Kasprzak reached out to MCCC prior to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic with the idea. The two organizations partnered on a mobile food pantry that was held right before the nationwide pandemic shutdown. The success of that mobile food pantry spurred discussions and planning for a permanent pantry on MCCC’s campus.

food pantry ribbon cutting

Marketing & Communications

Joe Verkennes
Director of Marketing and Communications
Monroe County Community College
1555 S. Raisinville Rd., Monroe, MI  48161

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