The annual Empty Bowls event is going virtual this year and will be expanded to two-day campaign to raises awareness of food insecurity. Members of the Worcester State community are asked to consider donating their lunch money during the event, which will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 17, and Wednesday, Nov. 18, with proceeds benefiting Thea’s Pantry and the Chandler Magnet Elementary School Food Pantry.
“Due to the pandemic, our community is struggling. Some are not able to work and many are not able to meet their basic needs. If you are able to donate please consider assisting the community and helping our students access food,” says Joanne Jaber Gavin, assistant director of the Urban Action Institute.
In years past, the fundraiser has been a festive and lively in-person event in which the entire campus community participates. There are warm soups and fresh bread, opportunities to win prizes donated from many area restaurants and shops, as well as a decadent dessert table.
“Many students have to live with the fear of not knowing when their next meal will be or whether they will have enough money to pay for food,” says Jaber Gavin. “College hunger also exacerbates unequal access to education. Food insecure students lack access to the nutrients they need to stay focused and healthy. A donation to the Empty Bowls Fundraiser will directly impact our students who need access to healthy food.”
According to studies, 40 percent of college students in the United States, including 33 percent in Massachusetts, are food insecure. Pre-COVID-19 surveys revealed one in three Worcester State students are hungry, and the expectation is that those number are climbing during the pandemic.
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