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College helps students with food, technology and other needs and is looking for contributions

PMG FILE PHOTO - Some Mt. Hood Community College students have been slammed by the pandemic and the college is raising money to help them be successful in school.

The Mt. Hood Community College Foundation is raising funds to support students whose lives have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last year, MHCC has shifted most of its academic programs and support services online and many students continue to struggle. Last spring, a survey of almost 500 MHCC students found 42% of students were food insecure, 35% were housing insecure and 12% were homeless due to the pandemic.

With classes online, the survey found that 21% of the students did not have a functional laptop or reliable internet at home and 38% said they considered withdrawing from all classes because they were moved to an online format.

Like so many others, the pandemic and resulting restrictions are weighing heavily on MHCC students. The survey found 47% could no longer concentrate on their education and 48% were experiencing at least moderate anxiety.

"We know that these statistics offer just a snapshot of the challenges that many of our students face every day. That is why we are dedicating our Foundation's annual push for donations to supporting their basic needs so they can continue to work toward their educational goals," said MHCC President Lisa Skari.

In conjunction with the shift to remote learning, MHCC launched a Student Support Services Request Form aimed at connecting students with the resources they need through the college. The requests received through the form provide insight into some of the struggles students currently face.

"I lost my home with the passing of my mother due to COVID1-19. I have been on the streets for months and can't keep up with my classes. I need as much help and advice as possible," said one MHCC student.

The college already has many student supports in place, such Barney's Pantry, which supplies food and personal and home care products to struggling students. Barney's Pantry altered its normal procedures to align with pandemic safety requirements.

To provide needed resources for struggling students, the MHCC Foundation is asking for the community's help. Donations will go far in supporting MHCC students' success by providing assistance in paying bills, helping with rent, providing loaner laptops for online classes and more. Donations can be made at mhcc.edu/Ways-to-Give/. The first $100,000 donated to this campaign will be matched by the MHCC Foundation.


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