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BC3 focused on reducing food insecurity

October 13, 2021 Digital Media Exclusive

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Butler County Community College director of special events Mikayla Moretti (right) and student Alyssa Sell pack a food bag at the college's Pioneer Pantry community food cupboard Tuesday.

Butler County Community College's food pantry is aiming to reduce the stigma of food insecurity as the issue continues to grow on the school's campus, college leaders said.

A survey distributed to students at BC3 in 2018 found that 53% had experienced at least one basic need insecurity.

The college opened the Pioneer Pantry in August 2019 to supply food to students in need, which added up to about 40% of the student population.

The coronavirus pandemic further exacerbated the number of students experiencing food insecurity at BC3, according to Keystone Education Yields Success (KEYS) project director Karen Jack.

“Maybe they lost their job or their spouse lost their job, children get sick — there are so many factors and COVID really added an extra layer to the need,” Jack said. “Every situation is different, so we just try to meet a student where they're at.”

Read more in Thursday's Butler Eagle.

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