The Colorado Department of Higher Education recently recognized Colorado Mountain College with designation as a “Hunger Free” campus.
All 11 CMC campuses have programs to help students obtain affordable food.
“At CMC we have always looked to support students who may have limited access to food,” Shane Larson, CMC vice president of student affairs, said in a press release.
The Hunger Free designation is designed to encourage colleges and universities to provide various ways for students to access meals and groceries.
To qualify, each CMC campus has free food pantries in place, such as The Community Market at the Vail Valley campus, or provides an immediate link to local pantries. CMC Spring Valley at Glenwood Springs offers students nonperishable food items and occasionally donated vegetables from area gardens.
Also in place is a program called “Swipe Out Hunger,” in which Sodexo and CMC provide swipe cards for students to purchase meals. Extra food and meals are also available to students through the culinary program at the Breckenridge and Steamboat campuses.
Assistance also comes from communities in the college’s nine-county district. Among available resources are grocery and convenience stores, farmers’ markets and other food outlets that participate in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which helps eligible low-income students purchase food.
A multilingual program called 2-1-1 Colorado also connects students confidentially to statewide resources, while Hunger Free Colorado offers a food resource hotline.
In addition, earlier in fall, Colorado Mountain College earned a Healthy Minds designation from the Higher Education Department for its work to provide students with mental health services and support.
CMC is one of six colleges and universities in the state to earn both the Hunger Free and Healthy Minds designations.