"I was really excited today for Brookhaven College and the Dallas County Community College District as we are gathered to celebrate an outstanding partnership with the North Texas Food Bank and our partners H-E-B Central Market," said DCCCD Chancellor Joe May. "This is really a story about how we help students stay in school to complete their degrees, enter the workforce and get good-paying jobs."
Commitment to student success and service to the community often means finding solutions to invisible problems. Food insecurity may not be starkly visible, but it undermines the ability of our students to be present, learn and complete their education.
Tuesday, March 19, NTFB unveiled the new Mobile Food Pantry that will serve the seven Dallas County Community Colleges at Brookhaven College. Funding for the vehicle was provided in part by the DCCCD Foundation plus matching contributions from H-E-B Central Market.
"The new truck is really dedicated to the DCCCD," said Bill Carnegie, NTFB vice president of network development. "We know that with community college students, there's a significant number that really struggle with hunger. We want to make sure that we provide as much access to food as necessary."
Dr. Thom D. Chesney, Brookhaven College president, put the need into perspective by sharing a 2018 survey of 43,000 students at 66 institutions in 20 states. Responses revealed that 35 percent of university and college students had food insecurity in the 30 days preceding the survey – an uncertainty about where their next meal might come from.
In just a few hours, volunteers from the college as well as students and staff from Vanguard Preparatory School unloaded and distributed 5,000 pounds of fresh produce to assist in providing food security for the Brookhaven College community. In 2018 across the seven colleges, 267,768 pounds of food was distributed through the Mobile Food Pantry.
"We are all in on this as a college district - the seven colleges that are part of this. If you came today to join us to celebrate and recognize, that's fantastic," Chesney said. "If you can join us tomorrow, the week after and the month after that to continue to be a part of the solution, we will value that even more and in particular our students and our community will get the greatest outcome from that."