President Eddinger on GAO Hungry in College Report
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) President Pam Eddinger joined the nation’s leading researchers, policy advocates, state officials, college administrators and students in Washington D.C. for “Hungry in College: Food Insecurity on American Campuses,” a briefing on hunger among college students. The discussion coincided with the release of a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on how to increase access to nutrition in higher education and improve students’ ability to learn, thrive and grow.
The GAO report, “Food Insecurity: Better Information Could Help Eligible College Students Access Federal Food Assistance Benefits,” is the first-ever national report about the extent of food insecurity among college students and is the result of efforts by President Eddinger, along with North Shore Community College President Patricia Gentile and Berkshire Community College President Ellen Kennedy who, in 2016, urged U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Edward J. Markey, Patty Murray, and Debbie Stabenow to ask the GAO to conduct the study.
At the briefing, President Eddinger advocated for public policy that supports sustainable long-term solutions to food insecurity in addition to emergency food resources, and spoke to the shifting demographics of college students in 2019.
“It is a local issue and our food pantries are a wonderful bridge,” she said. “, but if we don’t find a policy solution, we’ll be having this same conversation a couple of years from now.”
Given the substantial federal investment in higher education and the negative impact of food insecurity on students’ academic success and degree completion, the briefing presented recommendations for states and colleges to respond to the growing epidemic of food insecurity on college campuses.
Sponsored by MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger & The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice, the briefing was co-hosted by the Office of Senator Patty Murray, the Office of Senator Debbie Stabenow, the Office of Senator Elizabeth Warren and the Office of Senator Ed Markey. Participants included President Eddinger as well as Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rabb, Professor of Higher Education Policy & Sociology, Temple University, and Founder, Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice; Samuel M. Chu, National Organizer for MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger; the Honorable Teresa D. Miller, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Carrie Welton, Policy Analyst, Center for Law and Social Policy; and Yesenia Jimenez, Emerson National Hunger Fellow.