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JCC Receives $3,500 Grant to Support Campus Food Pantry

The campus food pantry at Jefferson Community College (JCC) was awarded a $3,500 grant from the Jane E. Deline Foundation to fund ongoing services to students attending the College. The food pantry is just one component of the Jefferson Community School (JCS) program located in the private setting of the Health & Wellness Center at JCC.

The food pantry, designed to provide an on campus resource for JCC students of low socioeconomic status, provides typical food and non-food items including personal hygiene and household products. The pantry serves low-income, first generation students (meaning neither parent has earned a bachelor’s degree), veterans, military dependents, and parenting students in need. Since 2016, the food pantry has supported a growing number of students on an annual basis. Last year, JCC students accessed the food pantry 87 times. At this point in time, the frequency of use is well over 100 occurrences for the current year. Director of the program, Dr. Katy Troester-Trate, Ed.D, LCSW explains, “Since I started working at JCC, I have watched thousands of students struggle with financial burdens and obstacles that college students should not have to face. The issue of food insecurity specifically impacts a significant portion of our student body, both at JCC and as an unfortunate national trend.” According to StudentsAgainstHunger.org, 25% of community college students nationwide report some level of food insecurity.

“This generous grant from the Jane E. Deline Foundation will help to keep our shelves stocked throughout the school year,” said Troester-Trate. “This essential service will ultimately be the difference for some of our students between staying at Jefferson to pursue an education or dropping out.”

JCS, a grant funded program of the State University of New York (SUNY) and an initiative of Governor Cuomo, seeks to coordinate and maximize public, non-profit and private resources to deliver critical services to students and thereby increase student achievement. JCS also provides temporary transportation and childcare assistance as well as physical and mental health services and continues to partner with community providers.

“JCC is special because it recognizes the comprehensive support that a majority of our students need to succeed in college,” says Troester-Trate. “We provide access and support for students who may not otherwise have a chance to better their lives through education…and it’s working!”