Homestead Market latest step toward addressing food insecurity
Holyoke Community College will welcome elected officials and representatives from the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts Thursday, Nov. 4, as the college celebrates the grand opening of Homestead Market, a campus convenience store that will be the first at any community college in the state to accept federal SNAP benefits.
The Thursday event will begin at 10 a.m. with a short program in the college's Center for Excellence on the second floor of HCC's Frost Building, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony down the hall outside the market at 10:30 a.m..
Expected in attendance: HCC President Christina Royal; Rep. Mindy Domb of Amherst, sponsor of the state legislature's Hunger Free Campus Initiative; Rep. Pat Duffy of Holyoke; Rep. Brian Ashe of Longmeadow; Rep. Kelly Pease of Westfield; Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa of Northampton; Holyoke city councilor David Bartley, Jr.; Katy Abel, director of Basic Needs Policy and Programs at the Mass. Dept. of Higher Education; representatives from the Food Bank; as well as HCC trustees and students.
The store, two years in the making, is a collaboration between the college, Aramark Dining Services, and the HCC Thrive Student Resource Center, which operates the college's food pantry and also helps students apply for food subsidies through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The market, which also accepts other forms of payment, is open to all HCC students, faculty and staff, as well as people in the greater community. The store will soon have the capability to accept payment using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.
HCC's Homestead Market is the college's latest step toward addressing food insecurity among its students, providing fresh produce, grab-and-go meals, food pantry essentials, and other household items.