Policy Priorities

Hunger-Free College Campuses

H.1368/S.822

An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Hunger-Free Campus Initiative

This bill is sponsored by Andres X. Vargas and Mindy Domb

Overview

College hunger was a problem before the pandemic. According to the most recent data, 37% of public university students in Massachusetts experience food insecurity. The pandemic has made it possible for college students to qualify for temporary relief, such as expanded SNAP eligibility, but institutional challenges to accessing resources remain. 

The Hunger Free-Campus Coalition and bill sponsors Sen. Harriette Chandler, Rep. Andy Vargas and Rep. Mindy Domb have introduced a bill titled: An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Hunger-Free Campus Initiative (H.1368/S.822) which would provide capacity, guidance, and funding to public colleges and not-for-profit institutions of higher education take steps to alleviate food insecurity on campus. The Department of Higher Education will establish the Hunger-Free Campus Initiative, which will be available to all public higher education institutions.

About the bill

This bill would encourage colleges to become a Hunger-Free Campus by: 

  1. Designating a college staff person as a point of contact. 

  2. Establishing a hunger-free campus taskforce

  3. Notifying students that receive need-based financial aid of their potential eligibility for federal nutrition assistance such the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

  4. Hosting/participating in at least one hunger awareness event annually. 

  5. Assessing the need for on-campus food distribution, access to an off-site food pantry, or the establishment of an on-campus food pantry.