Food Banks Confront Hunger At Community Colleges

Ann McClure's picture
Monday, May 14, 2012

Wilfredo Melendez said he had never needed charity before. But last summer, after leaving the Army and enrolling in Bunker Hill Community College, things started to unravel. He couldn’t find a part-time job to make ends meet. He got divorced. His wife moved out of state, leaving him to care for their 6-year-old son.

Last week, the 30-year-old was facing “streaky’’ finances, he said. Finals were looming. His little boy needed to eat.

So when a team of volunteers from the Greater Boston Food Bank showed up at Bunker Hill on May 2 bearing produce and frozen meats, Melendez took “pretty much one of everything they had,’’ went home, and made himself and his son a dinner of sweet potatoes and pork chops. It might as well have been Thanksgiving, he said: “I was so grateful.’’

So were 281 other Bunker Hill students who walked away from campus with 10,400 pounds of food, enough to make 7,000 meals.

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