Avangrid Foundation Provides $100,000 Grant to Expand Food Pantry at SUNY Broome

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 3/21/2024, Location: North America

The Avangrid Foundation, the primary philanthropic arm of leading sustainable energy company Avangrid, Inc., joined SUNY Broome today to celebrate the grand reopening of the college’s Hornet Hope Center, a newly upgraded on-campus food pantry and clothing closet. This new student resource center was made possible thanks to a $100,000 grant from the Avangrid Foundation, continuing the Foundation’s commitment to supporting food security. Last year, the Avangrid Foundation, New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG), and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) donated in total more than $300,000 to nonprofits addressing food insecurity across New York state.

“Today’s college students face serious financial challenges—the cost of education is on the rise, as is rent, food, and textbooks,” said Pedro Azagra, Avangrid CEO. “Food insecurity can be detrimental to a student’s academic performance and their health. We’re very proud to support the expansion of the Hornet Hope Center at SUNY Broome so that students have a safe space on campus to access support when they need it. A student’s focus should be on their schoolwork, not worrying about where their next meal will come from.”

SUNY Broome’s Hornet Hope Center provides students in need with access to nutritious and heart-healthy food, clothing, and personal hygiene products for men, women, infants, and children. The clothing bank includes essential seasonal items, like winter coats, and professional clothing and footwear for students to wear for interviews, job fairs, and internships. The Avangrid Foundation grant allowed the Center to move to a larger, newly renovated space on campus with energy-efficient lighting.

SUNY Broome is proud to partner with Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW), a network of food pantries in Broome County, to assist in stocking the food pantry, open to students during regular daytime hours and by appointment. The pantry is staffed by students and other campus volunteers.

“Our role as a community college is to support our students not only in their educational pursuits but in every aspect of their lives. Students cannot thrive academically if their basic needs, such as food and clothing, are not met,” said Dr. Tony Hawkins, president of SUNY Broome Community College. “The Avangrid Foundation understands the importance of this resource, and their generosity made the relocation, renovation, and reopening of the campus food pantry and clothing closet a reality.”

“Studies show that more than one in three community college students do not have enough to eat,” said Pablo Colón, director of corporate citizenship at Avangrid and executive director of the Avangrid Foundation. “This statistic is staggering and highlights the need for initiatives like the Hornet Hope Center on campuses. This Center is unique because not only will it address food insecurity, but it will also address the growing issue of hygiene poverty by providing essential personal hygiene products and providing students with access to professional clothing for job interviews through the clothing bank. The Avangrid Foundation is very proud to support initiatives like this that address the underlying barriers students face and set them up for success beyond college.”

“It's important that our students have the basic resources they need,” said Broome County Executive Jason Garnar. “Thanks to the Avangrid Foundation’s support, SUNY Broome’s Hornet Hope Center can do even more for those in need. This partnership shows how businesses can make a positive impact in our community and make a real difference in the lives of our students.”

“I am so pleased to see the Avangrid Foundation grant the SUNY Broome’s Hornet Hope Center $100,000,” said Assemblyman Joe Angelino. “Making sure all students at our SUNY schools have basic necessities such as food and clothing is of the utmost importance. I’m glad to see this private-public partnership working to address this issue.”

“Expanding services and support for students at our public educational organizations is important, and I am thrilled to recognize the Avangrid Foundation for stepping up to fund the expansion of SUNY Broome’s Hornet Hope Center, which provides students in need with access to nutritious food and other essentials,” said Michael Marinaccio, town of Dickinson supervisor. “Supporting students is vital to the future of Broome County.”

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