Food insecurity, the lack of available financial resources for food, is a real and rampant issue among college students, including many of those at Hostos Community College. A recent survey of 1,600 students in the Allied Health pathway program showed that 83 percent of respondents reported they have sometimes lacked the money necessary to feed themselves.

Hostos addresses food insecurity among its students through the food pantry, in operation since 2011 under the Single Stop program. Though modest in size, consisting of five medium size storage cabinets, the emergency need-based resource has served approximately 5,080 students annually since 2013-14. During 2017-18, the pantry’s limited stock was dwindling and funding for restocking sorely needed.

Fortunately, contributions from two supporters have replenished the pantry’s shelves to serve students in need. In June, Goya Foods committed to donating a total of 1,500 pounds of food to the pantry, and a recent $20,000 grant from The Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation will help restock the pantry’s shelves. Single Stop Program Coordinator Madeline Cruz said these contributions will not only go a long way toward helping students feed themselves and their families, but may also help them achieve academic success. 
“Hostos students are humble and when they receive food from the pantry, they get emotional and are thankful for what Single Stop program services and resources are doing for them and their family,” she explained. “The program’s mission is to assist Hostos students to attain higher education, obtain good jobs and be financial independent. Retention and graduation is the main goal, and the Petrie grant and Goya’s food donation will help Hostos students to achieve their goals. It will make a great difference in our program, but most importantly in our students.”
Situated in the Savoy building, the Single Stop program offers students supportive services to ensure they remain in school and succeed academically. Students may visit Single Stop on an appointment or walk-in basis to receive free referrals for services and benefits such as food stamps, Medicaid, housing, school lunch, transportation, mental health care, food vouchers, financial planning, maintaining small business, free tax preparation, legal advice and more.
Access to the food pantry requires enrollment at Hostos and participating in a screening interview, among other eligibility processes. 

Learn more about the food pantry and other Single Stop services.