According to Needham-based non-profit Hope & Comfort, one out of three people in Massachusetts are facing hygiene poverty, or the inability to afford everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant. This year MassBay Community College and Hope & Comfort celebrate their fourth year of partnership to provide free access to basic hygiene products to MassBay students who are facing hygiene insecurity. The collaboration provides students with free and easy access to basic hygiene products throughout the College’s three campuses.
“Our students are sincerely grateful for the products Hope & Comfort supplies because it allows them a level of dignity while pursuing their education,” said MassBay Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students Elizabeth Blumberg, Psy.D. “With access to these basic hygiene items, our students are feeling better and healthier, without the worry of affording these often expensive necessities. We look forward to continuing this important partnership.”
Hope & Comfort collaborates with 500+ distribution community partners, like MassBay, to provide access to essential hygiene products to support the health, dignity, and confidence of children and adults in need. In Massachusetts alone, an estimated 2.3 million people face hygiene insecurity. Sustained access to hygiene items plays a pivotal role in supporting overall well-being, and Hope & Comfort’s efforts positively impact school attendance, employment prospects, and community engagement. In 2023, Hope & Comfort distributed more than 3 million products, helping more than 500,000 people in Massachusetts, including more than 1,000 students across MassBay’s three campuses.
“MassBay has been an important partner of Hope & Comfort,” said CEO of Hope & Comfort Kerry Carter. “Having access to these products supports students’ health, dignity, and confidence. In 2023 Hope & Comfort was able to provide Massbay with close to 10,000 products, saving MassBay students an estimated $25,000 that would have come out of their pockets.”
“The resources MassBay provides our students are the wrap-around supports that people often don’t think about as barriers to completing their degree,” said MassBay Executive Administrator of Student Development Richie Haskell. “Students tell us that these items provide more than the physical products, they provide a level of self-esteem and self-worth that builds confidence and helps them along their path to academic completion. We know this relationship is having a profound impact on our students in and out of the classroom.”
This outstanding partnership is led by MassBay’s Student Nourishment And Care Committee (SNACC), which is a group of staff, faculty, students, and community volunteers who are dedicated to eliminating basic need barriers that are obstacles to student success.