Voices of Hunger
In a recent study of hunger on college campuses, 56% of Bunker Hill Community College students indicated that they were moderately food insecure.
- 52% indicated that the food they bought just didn’t last and they didn’t have enough money to get more.
- 60% indicated that they couldn’t afford to eat balanced meals.
- 45% have cut the size of their meals or skip meals because there wasn’t enough money for food.
On Friday, May 5, 2017 Bunker Hill Community College hosted representatives from colleges and community partners from across the state for a convening on hunger on our college campuses. Sponsored by the Bunker Hill Community College Foundation, the program features keynote speaker Sara Goldrick-Rab, author of Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream, along with survey results of a national hunger study completed on college campuses and an interactive discussion of who is hungry, what resources are available and how we can do more. The materials on this page helped to shape the discussion.
Sara Goldrick-Rab, Ph.D., is Professor of Higher Education Policy & Sociology at Temple University and Founder of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, the nation’s only transnational research laboratory seeking ways to make college more affordable. She is the recipient of the William T. Grant Foundation’s Faculty Scholars Award and the American Educational Research Association’s Early Career Award, and in 2016 POLITICO magazine named her one of the top 50 people shaping American politics. Her latest book, Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream is an Amazon best-seller, and has been featured on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” The New York Review of Books and CSPAN’s Book TV, among other venues.
Wisconsin Hope Lab Study
Earlier this year, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab produced “Hungry and Homeless in College,” a groundbreaking report assessing rates of food and housing insecurity among students at more than 70 community colleges across the United States.
Are your students’ basic needs secure? How do you know?
Surveys shape the national conversation about students’ basic needs and the challenges we face in improving college retention. This fall the Wisconsin HOPE Lab is inviting colleges and universities, regardless of sector or type, to participate. To join, email Anthony Hernandez at the Wisconsin HOPE Lab by Thursday, June 1, 2017, at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “FALL SURVEY”.
Read more about the report at on Medium.com.
Review the Wisconsin HOPE Lab’s “Guide to Assessing Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education" to learn more about conducting surveys and evaluations on college campuses.
Bunker Hill Community College Foudation
The Bunker Hill Community College Foundation, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) organization established in 1986. Its mission is to obtain resources to support the College, thereby enabling students with diverse educational, ethnic and cultural backgrounds to benefit from a high-quality, affordable, post-secondary education.
The Foundation is led by a highly dedicated Board of Directors drawn from leading retail, construction, hospitality, investment and insurance firms as well as civic organizations in the Boston area. They are committed to advancing the mission of the College and work to secure private contributions from individuals, foundations and corporations through personal solicitations, grant applications and fundraising events.
The Foundation solicits and accepts contributions, manages and invests its various endowments and financial resources and provides funding for scholarships and student support services, including emergency assistance. All gifts to Bunker Hill Community College Foundation are tax deductible to the extent approved by law. Visit bhcc.edu/foundation to learn more.
Massachusetts Campus Compact
Massachusetts Campus Compact, a nonprofit coalition of more than 60 colleges and universities, provides tools and resources to enable our member campuses to engage effectively on issues that matter to communities within and beyond the campus. We help colleges and universities fulfill their public purposes–educating students for lives of citizenship and working through partnerships to meet the challenges affecting local, state, national and global communities.
While civic engagement traditionally looks at the issue of hunger outside of the institution, we believe that these initiatives can look inward to the campus community to support work addressing issues of campus food insecurity and supporting student retention. On issues such as food insecurity, MACC works with our member institutions to share knowledge and develop a collective capacity to resolve issues affecting student success and engagement. Visit compact.org/resource-posts/supporting-retention-through-food-and-housing-security to learn more.
Food for Free
Food for Free rescues fresh food–food that might otherwise go to waste–and distributes it within the local emergency food system where it can reach those in need. Visit foodforfree.org to learn more.
Food Link gathers leftover bread items from area businesses like Panera Bread, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s for students to receive from the Single Stop office and take home with them. Visit foodlinkma.org to learn more.
The Greater Boston Food Bank
The Greater Boston Food Bank provides a monthly mobile market food pantry on campus that provides fresh produce and other pantry items. Visit gbfb.org to learn more.
In the News
I Was a Low-Income College Student. Classes Weren’t the Hard Part
September 10, 2019
By Anthony Abraham Jack for the New York Times
There are practical and immediate steps that can be tailored to the campus and student body, whether by expanding meal plans, as Connecticut College and Smith College did around recesses in the academic calendar; allowing meal-share programs on campus, like Swipe Out Hunger, which permits students to donate unused dining credits for other students to use; or opening food pantries and food banks, as at Bunker Hill Community College, Appalachian State University and Columbia University.
President Eddinger Discusses Food Insecurity on NECN-TV’s “The Take with Sue O’Connell”
February 7, 2019
Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) President Pam Eddinger joined Catherine D’Amato, President and CEO of the Greater Boston Food Bank, on NECN-TV’s “The Take with Sue O’Connell” to discuss the findings of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report “Food Insecurity: Better Information Could Help Eligible College Students Access Federal Food Assistance Benefits.”
Read the BHCC Newsbrief.
Students Without Food
August 1, 2017
By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf for Inside Higher Ed
Some community college students have struggled with access to food -- a previously documented trend that has now been quantified on a national scale in a new report released Tuesday.
Wick Sloane, an Inside Higher Ed columnist who also teaches at Bunker Hill Community College, said in an interview he appreciates these sorts of studies because they reflect the problems he and his colleagues see on college campuses.
June 2017: ACCT Now Perspectives "Food for Thought"
By Pam Eddinger
When I started community college work 25 years ago, I never would have predicted that hunger and homelessness would be barriers to a college education. For the last decade, despite the difficulties we have faced as community college educators, the way forward has been defined, if complex...
On Friday, May 5, representatives from colleges and community organizations from across the state joined Bunker Hill Community College to discuss a very real, very ugly, very urgent issue. Voices of Hunger on Campus, a first-time gathering of Massachusetts educators and community activists concerned about food insecurity and homelessness on college campuses, brought together leaders to address how that deprivation is affecting learning and student achievement, share approaches for helping students gain access to vital resources, forge meaningful partnerships between institutions and community partners to address these issues, and create a plan to implement institutional, and policy changes to achieve better outcomes for students.
March 20, 2017: Schools Programs Keep Hunger and Homelessness From Derailing Local Students
By Jordan Frias for SCN
Bunker Hill Community College student Michael Curran knows what it’s like to be homeless and struggling in school.
Curran, 28, of Medford, is among the many students who rely on the college’s Single Stop program for food and other resources to get by in life and in school.
March 15, 2017: Hungry and Unable to Complete
By Ashley A. Smith for Inside Higher Ed
Community colleges that want students to graduate increasingly focus not just on academic needs, but on transportation, housing and food issues.
At Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, the institution is piloting a food voucher program that gives 100 low-income students $7 a day to purchase food from the institution’s cafeteria.
March 10, 2017: Make History
By Wick Sloan for Inside Higher Ed
To: All 2,000 delegates at this weekend's annual meeting of the American Council on Education
Your assignment for this annual meeting: make history for low-income students…
Pam Y. Eddinger, president of Bunker Hill Community College, is advocating against student hunger with Goldrick-Rab, and sees every day both the benefits of proving food and the costs of student hunger.
February 23, 2017: Examining food insecurity
By Daily Community College
A handful of Democratic senators want the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study on food insecurity at U.S. colleges and universities.
For some of our students, it is a daily struggle to decide whether to spend their last dollars on food or on the subway to get to class,” said Pam Eddinger, president of Bunker Hill Community College, which hosts a mobile food pantry every month.
February 9, 2017: Homeless College Students Rate Rises Due To Hunger And School Fees, May Not See Graduation
By Amanda Foster for University Herald
America continues to struggle with the rising cost of higher education. As the cost of college and university fees and tuition grows, the number of homeless students also grows.
In Boston, the Bunker Hill Community College is just one of the 25 food assistance programs in Massachusetts public college campuses.
February 8, 2017: Number of homeless, hungry college students continue to rise
By Jarrett Carter foe EducationDive
Bunker Hill Community College in Massachusetts is profiled as one of the state's 25 food assistance programs, part of a larger student service initiative to help low-income students reduce obstacles to college completion.
February 8, 2017: The Number of Hungry And Homeless Students Rises Along With College Costs
By Kirk Carapezza for Tristate Public Radio
There's no way to avoid it. As the cost of college grows, research shows that so does the number of hungry and homeless students at colleges and universities across the country.
"It's invisible even to me and I'm looking," says Wick Sloan. He came to Bunker Hill Community College in Boston more than a decade ago to teach English full time.
January 25, 2017: State’s public colleges see rise in hunger, homelessness
By: Nuchael Levenson for The Boston Globe
The state’s colleges and universities are reporting that hunger and homelessness among students have increased over the past year, an alarming new disclosure that makes clear that…
Christopher Aguirre, a 20-year-old student at Bunker Hill Community College in Charlestown, is among those who have confronted homelessness and hunger while working toward a degree.
January 24, 2017: Mass. Public Campuses See More Hungry And Homeless Students
By: Louise Kennedy for WBUR
Hunger and homelessness are rising at more than a third of Massachusetts public colleges and universities, according to a report presented to the state higher education board Tuesday.
He's due to graduate this year from Bunker Hill Community College after repeatedly making the dean's list, he said, and has received more support there than from programs designed to serve homeless youth.
November 10, 2016: Hunger on College Campuses is Growing
By: Lawndale News
“I missed the apples, but I got a lot of other good, healthy stuff,” says Flora, a Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) student who is cradling a bag of oatmeal, cauliflower, carrots, ground turkey, and enough yellow onions to fuel her favorite sofrito recipe. “I’m Latina, so I have to have my sofrito!” she laughs.
October 31, 2016: Western Mass Food Bank Sets Eyes On Root Causes of Hunger
By: Andy McKeever for iBerkshires.com
The Western Massachusetts Food Bank wants to do more than just provide emergency meals…
The lead was taken by Bunker Hill Community College, which opened a pantry after discovering students were going without meals. Now it has grown to be a national issue on college campuses.
October 28, 2016: President Of Largest Community College In Mass. On Student Hunger
By: Alison Bruzek and Meghna Chakrabarti for WBUR
Dr. Pam Eddinger has been the president of Bunker Hill Community College since 2013. Earlier this month, she was honored at the White House as a "Champion of Change" for her work expanding college education to underrepresented groups.
October 26, 2016: ‘Starving Student’ Stereotype is No Joke: Hunger on College Campuses is Growing
By: Mary Ellen Flannery for neaToday
“I missed the apples, but I got a lot of other good, healthy stuff,” says Flora, a Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) student who is cradling a bag of oatmeal, cauliflower, carrots, ground turkey, and enough yellow onions to fuel her favorite sofrito recipe.
September 27, 2016: Facing hunger on college campuses
By: Laura Colarusso for the Boston Globe
CAN I have another bag of pasta?”
It was a hot August afternoon, and about 100 students had assembled for the monthly food pantry at Bunker Hill Community College.
July 28, 2016: Measuring the Impact: Food insecurity hits schools nationwide, stretches into higher ed
By: Tara Garcia Mathewson for Education Dive
Teachers in Cambridge, MA, used to notice children behaving aggressively or struggling to pay…
At Bunker Hill Community College near Boston, 8,000 of the school’s 14,000 students qualify for Pell Grants, and 1,000 qualify for SNAP benefits. The Single Stop program aims to help students overcome economic barriers that get in the way of their students and break the cycle of poverty. Bunker Hill Community College President Pam Eddinger estimates 2,500 students access Single Stop services each year.
May 13, 2016: Hunger on College Campuses: Another Barrier to Getting a Degree?
By: Bob Hildreth for The Huffington Post
Wick Sloane teaches a college writing class at Bunker Hill Community College, where he also manages the Emergency Assistance Fund.
April 29, 2016: A ‘Successful’ Conference on Hunger?
By: Wick Sloane for Inside Higher Ed
I don’t have a clever lead paragraph for an essay about an oversubscribed conference on college…
Since coming to Bunker Hill Community College 10 years ago, I’ve spent more time on hunger and food stamps than teaching College Writing I, my original plan.
April 27, 2016: Food Assistance Put on Table for Low-Income College Students
By: Jamaal Abdul-Alim for diverseeducation.com
The National School Lunch Program – the federally assisted and state-administered program that…
“For example, Bunker Hill Community College is working with its cafeteria vendor to buy a basic lunch (sandwich, fruit and milk) at wholesale rather than retail prices, and distributing those lunches to students in need,” the proposal notes.