New report finds many local college students struggling to pay for food

Franklin County

A new Temple and Wisconsin University survey found almost half of community college students in Massachusetts unable to afford enough food or a place to live. 

Greenfield Community College opened their own food pantry to address this issue. 

“A lot of students aren’t able to work and go to school and sometimes it’s hard trying to make ends meet, especially when you don’t have a school program to feed you, so this really helps people out,” said Brenna Durrah, a sophomore at GCC.

The GCC Food Pantry has a variety of foods that students have access too on campus. Food pantry items include non-perishable foods, like canned beans and soups, as well as personal hygiene items like shampoo and deodorant. GCC’s Judy Raper told 22News almost half of the students they surveyed reported a housing insecurity.

“Every time we would put food out in a community kitchen or a studio it would be gone really quickly and so we were becoming increasingly aware that a lot of our students had food security issues,” said Raper, director of student development at GCC.

Raper said their food pantry fed 324 students and their family members in the past school year. 

GCC was the second community college in the country to provide a food pantry to students when they first opened it in 2011.

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