Stop & Shop Donates $10,000 to Housatonic Community College
Food Pantry to Fight Food Insecurity
As the risk of food insecurity among college students is on the rise, Stop & Shop is taking steps to fight back locally with continued support for the Housatonic Community College (HCC) School Food Pantry. The supermarket giant recently donated an additional $10,000 to assist the HCC food pantry in helping food-insecure students with nutritious food options and basic necessities so they can stay focused on their education.
Last year, Stop & Shop provided a $5,000 gift to initiate the HCC School Food Pantry. At that time, when remote learning was in place, just over 30 students per month accessed the resource. Today, when roughly 50% of classes are taught on-campus, over 125 students per month access the Food Pantry and the pantry’s mobile fresh food offerings. Stop & Shop also provides students with nutrition education and other resources through its Nutrition Partners program, led by Stop & Shop’s team of registered dietitians.
“This increased use of HCC’s Food Pantry clearly demonstrates the need for continued food supply and the success of this resource on campus,” said Kristy Jelenik, Executive Director of the Housatonic Community College Foundation.
For college students, food insecurity can challenge their ability to reach educational and professional goals. Hunger affects a student’s ability to concentrate, causes grades to suffer, and is linked to students taking a longer time to graduate.
“Many in our communities continue to face challenges associated with hunger as a result of the ongoing impact of COVID-19,” said Maura O’Brien, Stop & Shop Manager of Community Relations. “Students face a unique set of difficulties and lessening the burden of food insecurity as we enter the holidays will help HCC students to focus on their education and their future. Stop & Shop is proud to continue assisting the Housatonic Community College on-campus food pantry, helping to ensure students have access to food to help them succeed in their studies and life outside of the classroom.”
Last month, HCC expanded its Food Pantry hours to meet the growing demand, and also teamed up with the college’s Student Senate to provide Thanksgiving meal bags to 100 students. Each thermal bag was filled with holiday dinner staples such as turkeys, potatoes, carrots, and apples.
“HCC does an amazing job making food accessible to students. As a student who works full time while going to school full time, it really helps a lot,” said Susie Romirez of Fairfield, CT.
“This grant support is vital, and as the pandemic has exacerbated student hunger, our vulnerable scholars need this food resource now more than ever. We are grateful to Stop & Shop for their continued support,” said Jelenik.
About Housatonic Community College Foundation Founded in 1990 by a team of business and arts leaders from the greater Bridgeport community, the HCC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that solicits, secures and manages contributions from the private sector through individuals, corporations and foundations for the benefit of HCC. The HCC Foundation distributes resources in the form of full and partial scholarships to students with proven academic performance and demonstrated financial need.
About Stop & Shop A neighborhood grocer for more than 100 years, Stop & Shop is focused on delivering a wide assortment of fresh, healthy options at a great value through strong weekly sales and everyday low prices. Its new GO Rewards loyalty program delivers personalized offers and allows customers to earn points that can be redeemed for gas or groceries every time they shop. Stop & Shop customers can choose however they want to shop - whether it's in-store or online, which offers both delivery and same day pickup. The company is committed to making an impact in its communities by fighting against hunger, supporting our troops and through overall incredible acts of care. The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC is an Ahold Delhaize USA Company and employs 58,000 associates and operates more than 400 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. To learn more about Stop & Shop, visit www.stopandshop.com.
Caption For Photo Above: Left to right, Sue Franco, HCC CEO Dr. Dwayne Smith and Maura O'Brien.
Caption For Photo Right: left to right, HCC Administrative Assistant Sue Franco who manages the Food Pantry stands with Maura O’Brien, Stop & Shop External Communications & Community Relations Manager.
Caption For Photo Right: Thanksgiving meal bags were provided to 100 HCC students.
Caption For Photo Right: The students work so hard both at school and in the community to provide for their families, that they deserve this,” said Jocelyn Eagle, President of the HCC Student Senate.