On May 6th, Middlesex Community College donated some of its inventory from the college’s food pantry, known as the Magic School Bus, to The Salvation Army in Meriden. Typically, the Magic School Bus serves dozens of college students struggling with food insecurity every week.
However, the college’s campuses located in Meriden and Middletown are closed due to the COVID-19 crisis so food items could not be distributed. “Originally, we weren’t sure how long we would be closed but now we’re closed for the rest of the semester,” said Dr. Steven Minkler, CEO of Middlesex Community College. “We thought we should give the non-perishable food items to people who need it now, so we brought half of our food here to The Salvation Army in Meriden and the other half to the Amazing Grace food pantry over in Middletown.” The donation of approximately 30 shopping bags, totaling 333 pounds, to The Salvation Army in Meriden included non-perishable food items such as soup, canned vegetables and fruit, macaroni and cheese, and pasta.
A couple of years ago MxCC discovered a number of students having to make choices between putting food on the table or coming to school. Often, students were going to classes hungry. “How can you go to school, how can you have a job if you’re really worried about putting food on the table,” Minkler said. “So, if there’s anything the college can do such as the food pantry, we’re super happy and willing to do that.” Students who would normally obtain food from the Major Food Bus can visit The Salvation Army’s food pantries in Meriden and Middletown.
The Salvation Army in Meriden has nearly tripled distribution to residents in need of food. “We have received requests of food from over 100 new households due to job loss related to COVID-19,” said Lieutenant Michael Borrero of The Salvation Army in Meriden. “We have made deliveries to about 40 individuals from different households. So, the donation from Middlesex Community College is a blessing to us.”
Middlesex Community College partners closely with the MxCC Foundation, which is a fundraising and charitable arm of our college. Over the last few years, the MxCC Foundation has helped raise substantial funds for the Magic Food Bus food pantry, including donations from Newman’s Own, Big Y and most recently from Stop & Shop, which donated gift cards to students in need. “Middlesex Community College is proud to have a deep relationship with folks and organizations in the community and one of our partners is The Salvation Army,” said Minkler. “The Salvation Army has been a great supporter, providing drinks for runners in our 5-K Cap and Gown Race, which we usually do every year. We are really excited to partner with The Salvation Army to get food to our students and their families in need during this time.”
The Salvation Army’s food pantry in Meriden is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 12pm and the soup kitchen is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm to 1pm.
For Connecticut: Text GIVECT to 71777
For Rhode Island: Text GIVERI to 71777