Bunker Hill Community College Foundation Awarded Grant for One Solid Meal Program

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Bunker Hill Community College Foundation received a $14,000 Economic Mobility Grant from Bank of America Charitable Foundation to expand the number of participants in its One Solid Meal (OSM) Program.

Funded by a group of private donors, OSM began as a pilot during the spring 2016 semester to address hunger and food insecurity, a critical problem at the College and one that affects students at community colleges throughout the U.S. A recent report released by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab and the Association of Community College Trustees found that two thirds of students struggle with food insecurity and one third are regularly hungry. At Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC), the same study showed that 56 percent of BHCC students experience low or very low food insecurity.

During the pilot phase, the program provided one cafeteria meal a day to 30 students. Following the original pilot phase, OSM provided $7 food vouchers which could be used in the College’s cafeteria, café and Culinary Arts dining room. Students were referred to the program by the Director of BHCC’s Single Stop office, which provides assistance with food, housing, tax filing and emergency assistance.

“Success at community colleges is measured by retention and completion,” said President Pam Eddinger, pointing to initial data demonstrating the impact of the OSM program. “Helping students access one solid meal on the days they come to class helps them stay on track to earn their degree and become part of the economic fabric of the city of Boston.”

All but one of the 30 students who participated in the initial phases of the program completed the semester– eight of whom have successfully graduated. The partnership with Bank of America Charitable Foundation will allow BHCC to serve additional students currently on the waiting list for the program.

Bunker Hill Community College is the largest community college in Massachusetts. The College enrolls more than 14,000 students on two campuses and at three satellite locations. BHCC is one of the most diverse institutions of higher education in Massachusetts. Sixty-four percent of the students are people of color and more than half of BHCC's students are women. The College also enrolls nearly 1000 international students who come from 107 countries and speak more than 75 languages.

Media Contact:
Karen M. Norton, Executive Director of Integrated Marketing and Communications
Bunker Hill Community College, Boston, MA 02129
Phone: (617) 228-2177; Email: kmnorton@bhcc.mass.edu