NEW Community Fridges for Our Students

Leominster Community Refrigerator
Leominster Community Refrigerator

Walking around Leominster or Gardner you may have noticed something new – refrigerators! We have added them to public areas in Leominster and Gardner and have added new refrigerators and freezers to both food pantries!

Adding the new refrigerators and freezers to both our Leominster and Gardner food pantries helps to diversify and increase the availability of perishable, fresh, and frozen foods for our students.  Items like cheese, yogurt, plant and meat-based protein, and eggs will be added to our inventory.

Consistent with our continued commitment to address food access for our students, we are utilizing funding from our Hunger Free Campus grant to provide a variety of prepared meals and food options in public areas across these two campuses to reduce the stigma of accessing food, increase the visibility of our food options, and to encourage students to connect with our food pantry.

Our MWCC “Food for Thought” Food Pantry helps hundreds of students – both credit and non-credit.  As a college campus pantry, we are limited in what we can do to support the food and basic needs of our students, so we also partner with local community agencies to make sure students are connected to as many resources as possible.

These “Community Fridges” are an exciting new addition to our campuses and highlight our commitment to help students address basic needs.  Modeled after similar campus and community programs, the “Community Fridge” initiative is a simple, yet powerful idea to help address food insecurity with our students.  Our MWCC program started today.  We plan to stock the fridges with prepared meals from our Green Street Café (bringing meal options to our Leominster Campus), fresh produce from Growing Places, items from the Worcester County Food Bank, and items donated from our very own MWCC Greenhouse.

Items in the Community Fridges are available to our students at no cost.  We encourage students to take advantage of these options and to cultivate an awareness of our goal to impact as many students as possible.  We want students to take what they need while leaving what they can so that as many students as possible can be served.  A recent survey of MWCC students revealed that over 26% of our students are food insecure.   This is another step forward in being ready to serve our students.

As with any new initiative, we expect that there will be questions and lessons to be learned.  We are open and ready for both. Feel free to contact our Basic Needs Specialist Terry Young, or one of our incredible student employees and interns who go above and beyond to make sure that every student matters with questions.

The new community fridges are located at:

  • Gardner Science Wing 1st floor
  • Gardner Science Wing 2nd floor
  • Gardner Student Center near Corner Bites (Coming Soon!)
  • Leominster Second Floor Student Center