Dec. 12, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Public + Media Relations Manager
Communications Manager, Food Bank for the Heartland
MCC, Food Bank for the Heartland address student food insecurity through collaboration
Partnership has created the new MCC e-pantry, giving students supplemental food
OMAHA, Neb. — Metropolitan Community College and Food Bank for the Heartland have come together to create the area’s first e-Pantry, a response to help reduce student food insecurity. The service provides MCC students with a supplemental box of nonperishable food items, helping them focus more on coursework.
Students may access the e-Pantry by submitting an online request via the online e-Pantry portal located on the MCC student resources site. Once the request is made, a box of food can be picked up at designated student services locations. In the box, students receive pasta sauce, spaghetti, rice, black beans, corn, green beans, pears, applesauce, soup and macaroni and cheese. All food items are provided by Food Bank for the Heartland and packaged by MCC volunteers before being distributed by MCC logistical teams. Each e-Pantry box also contains a flyer with information about other available food and community resources available to students.
The e-Pantry began operation in early November. In that month alone, 79 students used the e-Pantry service. Those 79 students had a total household count of more than 200, further emphasizing the need for a supplemental food source for MCC students.
“We want our students to be able to focus on their studies. Hunger is a very real barrier for some of our students,” said Randy Schmailzl, MCC president. “Our goal is to provide supplemental food to our students in a convenient way. We want to thank the Food Bank for the Heartland for their partnership and helping us address food insecurity needs.”
“Food Bank for the Heartland is excited to partner with MCC to introduce this innovative e-Pantry program as a resource to combat student food insecurity,” said Brian Barks, president and CEO of Food Bank for the Heartland. “Food pantries on college campuses are becoming more prevalent, and with the electronic form on MCC’s website, we want to eliminate barriers and make the process of receiving food easier for students who need it.”
About Food Bank for the Heartland (a member of Feeding America)
Food Bank for the Heartland is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Omaha, Nebraska that acts as a central clearinghouse distributing food to nearly 600 network partners across 77 counties in Nebraska and 16 counties in western Iowa. Food Bank for the Heartland provided more than 22 million meals in FY 2019 helping thousands of children, families, seniors, veterans, and others in need. For more information, visit www.FoodBankHeartland.org.
About Metropolitan Community College
Metropolitan Community College, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is a comprehensive, public community college that offers affordable, quality education to all residents of Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy and Washington counties. Founded in 1974, MCC has the largest enrollment out of six community colleges in Nebraska and is the second largest post-secondary institution in the state. MCC serves more than 40,000 unique credit and noncredit students.