Jefferson Opens Resource Area and Food Pantry
Jefferson Community and Technical College President Ty Handy joined local resource providers and community leaders in officially opening the doors to The Hub, a new service area committed to transforming the lives of students through assistance with meeting basic needs and accessing community resources. Located on the Downtown Campus, The Hub serves as a one-stop support and resource center that will provide on-campus assistance for students dealing with academic and non-academic obstacles to their education.
The Hub is home to Jefferson’s first campus food pantry, fully stocked with both perishable and non-perishable food, supplied by the Dare to Care Food Bank. In addition, it serves as a launching point for students to connect with resources available to meet critical needs such as housing, childcare, healthcare, utilities, etc.
“Our students face numerous barriers to success before they enter the classroom, including food insecurity,” said Handy. “This partnership with Dare to Care and the vision of the College’s student affairs department will provide a comprehensive center for support that will ensure equity for their higher education journey.”
A recent student survey identified 18.4 percent of survey respondents on the Downtown Campus, at times, did not have enough food for themselves or their household while studying at Jefferson. Meeting the needs of Jefferson’s low-income students has become a main priority of the College and the center of research and planning for student success efforts.
“Already in its short time being open, The Hub has provided me with not only food, but hope and reassurance,” Shalaila Mayes, Jefferson student, said. “I have a 3-year-old son and I’m currently homeless. Whenever our food stamps are unable to fulfill all of our needs, The Hub is there for me, and others like me. I’m thankful to Jefferson for thinking of their students’ needs and making them feel comfortable enough to ask for help.”
The Hub is funded by a one-year grant by the C. E. and S. Foundation. After one year, the College will fully absorb costs and operations.