Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

MCC gets $3 million to fight hunger among students

James Brown WXXI
Danny Wegman

The Wegman Family Charitable Foundation is donating $3 million to Monroe Community College. The money will aid MCC students struggling with food insecurity and other barriers to their education.

The college has been paying more attention to students who have financial needs in recent years. A 2016 study from the Wisconsin HOPE Lab found that more than half of MCC students either skipped a meal or had to eat less because they couldn’t afford it; 60 percent of the students said they could not afford a balanced diet. It also revealed that one in ten MCC students are on the verge of homelessness.

Danny Wegman, president and chairman of the Wegman Family Charitable Foundation, was at MCC’s downtown campus to announce the donation. He says reducing hunger among students will help them succeed.

“There’s this whole idea of individuals that need either support in emotional ways or in food ways because you really can’t study if you’re hungry,” said Wegman. “You can’t work if you’re hungry. So this is a really important initiative.”

The Monroe Community College foundation plans to use the money for things like food scholarships, emergency grants, and other types of support for students.

MCC President Anne Kress says the donation could keep students from making some hard choices.

“These students do not lack talent. What they lack is the ability to access the resources to persist in the face of these great difficulties,” said Kress. “We’re going to be able, with these dollars, to give students food scholarships so that they can meet those food insecurity needs and not have to worry about ‘do I buy a textbook or do I buy a loaf of bread.’”

James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.