Building Bigger

RCTC HIVE Supply campus food pantry

RCTC Foundation improves lives with support of quality, affordable, and accessible education.

Rochester Community & Technical College supports a diverse population of students improving their lives through education.

A Fall 2021 survey of RCTC students revealed:
• 53% of RCTC students are experiencing food or housing insecurity.
• 31% of RCTC Student are experiencing high levels of food insecurity.

It’s hard to learn when you are hungry. With COVID funding, the RCTC HIVE Supply food pantry expanded to offer more non-perishable groceries to RCTC students. During Fall 2021, twice as many students accessed our food pantry as used it during the entire previous school year. In January 2022, the utilization of the RCTC HIVE Supply grew by 42% over December, putting us on track to triple our utilization this year.

Without support, these students will have to choose between going hungry and going to college. By ensuring these college students have food, we help them stay in school so they can start a successful career to achieve life-long financial self-sufficiency.

Prior to 2020-2021, the RCTC HIVE Supply was stocking our food shelf with donated food items, supplemented by items from the Channel One Food Bank. Before the pandemic hit, we were struggling to keep up with demand from students. In 2021-2022, RCTC dedicated $30,000 of its COVID ARP relief funds to ensure we kept the food pantry stocked at a time we were seeing surging demand.

Demand is skyrocketing. We project triple the utilization of the HIVE Supply in 2021-22, with over 1500 student visits. In 2022-23, we won’t be able to meet this increased demand from food drives and partner agencies and will need to be able to purchase foods to stock our pantry shelves.

The State Farm Neighborhood Assist grant of $25,000 will enable us to purchase food to keep our shelves stocked when our community food drives and partnerships can't meet the demand. It will provide a critical support for our students, while we grow our local community partnerships to meet this need in the long-term.

Our RCTC students are improving their lives through education. By providing an on-campus food pantry, our students don’t have to choose between going hungry and going to college.

Students are able to stay in school and earn a degree that leads to a successful career. Graduates with an associate’s degree increase their earnings by more than 30% over a lifetime (Carnevale et al., 2014).

Feeding a hungry student helps them graduate but the benefits go beyond the individual. RCTC graduates meet the needs of our local workforce—helping to provide nurses, teachers, police officers, accountants and more. Students find rewarding careers that lift families out of poverty and decreases the use of support services. A study by the American Association of Community Colleges in 2014 showed for every dollar invested by communities, they received $6.80 in increased tax revenue and decreased social services cost. Your grant lifts people out of poverty to benefit our whole community.