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SUNY Chancellor highlights programs to help students with food insecurity

Feb 5, 2021

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras talks with SUNY Brockport President Heidi Macpherson on Friday during a tour of school facilities.
Credit SUNY Brockport

SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras said that the state's university system is trying to expand services for students who are food-insecure.

He was in the Rochester area Friday, making a stop at the Rochester Educational Opportunity Center to talk about the expansion of a program that allows eligible students to be automatically  enrolled for SNAP benefits.  The expansion was announced earlier this month and covers about 10,000 SUNY students.

Malatras said a survey of SUNY students at the EOC training centers showed that about half of them have said they have not had enough to eat at some point in recent months.

“That is too many," Malatras said. "By the way, one is too many. Fifty percent is a major public policy failure, so we needed to close that gap in a real and meaningful way.”

Malatras said that SUNY is working with the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce to raise money to help provide no-cost meals for their students. Those meals would be prepared at the Rochester Educational Opportunity Center.

Malatras also visited SUNY Brockport, in advance of classes starting up again on Monday. He noted that overall, SUNY schools have a very low COVID-19 positivity rate right now, which he attributes to careful planning, including weekly testing.