Last month, 60 students and community activists attended our lobby day at the State House to call for passage of the Hunger Free Campus Initiative and secure $4 million in the state budget to help end food insecurity on college campuses. In just one day, we met with over 30 legislative offices and got FIVE legislators to co-sponsor the Hunger Free Campus bill!
Use our call-to-action tool to send a letter to your State Representative in favor of the Hunger Free Campus Initiative!
If you signed a petition, wrote a letter, made a phone call, or shared your story with us – THANK YOU! It was an honor to take your voice to the State House.
37% of the public university/college students in Massachusetts experience food insecurity. The Hunger Free Campus Initiative, if passed, will provide a roadmap for the Department of Higher Education to address food insecurity at our public colleges and minority-serving institutions, and maximize federal nutrition dollars. That means more resources like food pantries, food vendors that accept food stamps, and meal swipe donation programs.
Our lobby day was part of the Hunger Free Campus coalition in Massachusetts, an alliance of nearly 40 public and private colleges and universities, hunger-relief and anti-poverty advocates, students, and civic organizations across the Commonwealth including the Greater Boston Food Bank, the Food Bank of Western MA, the Mass Law Reform Institute and MASSPIRG. You can read more about the coalition here and read an article about our lobby day in the Lowell Sun newspaper here.
Leading up to the lobby day, MASSPIRG helped pass student government resolutions in favor of the bill at a number of campuses including Salem State University, UMass Dartmouth, UMass Boston, Holyoke Community College, Berkshire Community College, Massachusetts Bay Community College, and North Shore Community College. In addition, we held food drives collecting more than 750 items and got more than 3,000 students to sign a petition in support of the bill. Want to get involved? Sign up to volunteer!
Check out some photos and highlights from the Hunger Free Campus lobby day below!
Above: MASSPIRG Student leaders Sean Simonini (left) and Diego Maldonado (right) host the kick off.
Above: MASSPIRG student leader Sean Simonini with Hunger Free Campus legislative champions Rep. Andy Vargas and Sen. Sal DiDomenico.
Above: MASSPIRG student leader Diego Maldonado with State Senator and bill sponsor Joan Lovely.
Above: MASSPIRG students with Representative Steven Ultrino (middle) who agreed to support funding the Hunger Free Campus legislation.
MASSPIRG Students is a statewide student-directed and student-funded nonpartisan organization that works with professional staff at colleges and universities across Massachusetts to make sure our peers have the skills, opportunities and training they need to create a better, more sustainable future for all of us. Our chapters across the state provide the training, professional support and resources students need to tackle climate change, protect public health, revitalize our democracy, feed the hungry and more. For 50 years we’ve helped students to get organized, mobilized and energized so they can continue to be on the cutting edge of positive change.