“The Community College of Aurora is committed to working every day to fulfill our institutional vision to be the college where EVERY student can succeed. Thanks to the collective efforts of our Student Success Division and the support of the Trailhead Institute and Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, these funds will support the achievement of our institutional vision through addressing food insecurity experienced by our student body,” CCA President Dr. Mordecai Brownlee said.
Through the FPAG, CCA’s Division of Student Success aims to bolster on-campus food Security Initiatives. The primary objective is to locally source nutritious produce and products, thus enhancing the overall well-being of our campus community.
Dean of Student Success & Senior Student Affairs Officer, Dra. Reyna Anaya, expressed her enthusiasm for the program, stating, “We were thrilled about receiving the Food Pantry Assistance Grant, and its purpose to expand access to fresh and local produce within Colorado. I am so thankful to my team for their intentional efforts to partner with organizations like Colorado BluePrint to increase access to resources and overall student success at CCA. They are championing the way for basic need service support in Colorado’s higher education landscape. “
The Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger is a dedicated initiative working towards eradicating hunger within the state over a five-year period. This collective effort partners with organizations statewide to identify disparities within food systems and develop solutions to address pressing needs.
Beau Green, Director of Student Advocacy, underlined the significance of tackling food insecurity by emphasizing, “CCA’s Week of Welcome included two ‘Farms to Families’ markets offering free Colorado grown fruits and vegetables to staff and students at our Lowry and CenterTech Campuses. Kicking off our fall semester in this way highlights CCA’s understanding that student success begins with having access to resources that support wellbeing. We are committed to making holistic resources, like healthy food, accessible to our campus community.”
A recent survey revealed that a substantial 64.1% of CCA students grapple with food insecurity, defined as limited or uncertain access to food. Advocates for student wellness applaud initiatives like FPAG as crucial elements in students’ educational journeys. Adequate access to food is not only integral to overall well-being but also pivotal in enabling academic success. Students facing food scarcity are at a disadvantage in achieving their educational goals.
Megan Dempsey, Coordinator of Basic Needs and Student Wellness, highlighted how this grant will positively impact students, stating, “The FPAG grant enabled us to serve 1,060 CCA students, employees and their family members through our Farms to Families event. The East Denver Food Hub (EDFH) played a huge part in enabling us to bring fresh food to our community while championing the viability of local farmers. With EDFH’s facilitation, CCA selected our produce from farms owned and operated by individuals of color and those living with disabilities, because equity of opportunity is one of CCA’s key values.”
The Food Pantry Assistance Grant began in 2018, when it awarded more than $450,000 to 94 food pantries around Colorado, including all five food banks in the state. In 2023, the state provided $14 million in funding for food banks and food pantries.
Photos by: CCA Dept. of Strategic Communications
About the Community College of Aurora:
The Community College of Aurora (CCA) provides high-quality instruction and student support services to Aurora and Denver, Colorado. With a vision to aspire to be a college where every student succeeds, CCA is the most diverse college in the State of Colorado. Focused on creating social and economic mobility for its students, the college offers courses on two (2) campuses, online, and through its high school concurrent-enrollment programs. For more information, visit www.ccaurora.edu.
Strategic Communications and Alumni Engagement
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