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GCC Campus Safety trades razors for food

Pictured, left to right are: Stephen Wise, Brenda Case, Dan Rimmer, Erik Anderson, Patricia Chaya and Kate Trombley. Missing from the photo are Campus Safety officers John Wolcott, Joe Meacham and Liz Mills.

BATAVIA -- For many people in our community, the winter months present a unique set of challenges including food insecurity and hunger. The Department of Campus Safety at Genesee Community College wanted to find a meaningful way to assist the students they serve every day. As law enforcement officials with extensive experience, GCC's Campus Safety officers were well aware that many agencies around the country allow beards during the month of November to benefit various charities. GCC Campus Safety officers adopted the practice in a cause that supports the local campus community-The GCC Food Pantry.

"The Department of Campus Safety team decided to participate in the annual No-Shave November in an effort to support the College's Food Pantry and help our own students," Stephen Wise, director ofGCC's Campus Safety said. "I have formally waived our standard policy that prohibits facial hair until January 7, 2019."

In all, the department's effort witnessed the growth of five full beards, and two female officers occasionally donned a fake moustache as needed (See photo). Most importantly, however, in just four weeks, the initiative generated food and cash donations that will provide a minimum of 25 meals to GCC students who are currently facing food insecurity on GCC's campus.

"Our Campus Safety officers are dedicated to our students," Patricia E. Chaya, dean of Student Services at GCC said. "They interact with students every day and see first-hand how many students struggle in securing a nutritious meal for themselves or some of their family members. No-Shave November has made a real impact on availability of precious food and personal hygiene items that many students need."

This year alone, GCC's Food Pantry has served more than 330 students and more than 1,100 meals. In addition, for the first time the Food Pantry prepared 25 baskets and fed 97 on and off-campus students and their families over Thanksgiving weekend. Other items available to students include personal hygiene such as toiletries and feminine products, as well as fresh, frozen, canned and boxed food.

Genesee Community College currently operates a primary food panty at its Batavia Campus, but links to similar services through each of its campus centers in Albion, Arcade, Dansville, Lima, Medina and Warsaw, in conjunction with the Adult Educational Opportunity Center (AEOC). Students in need are encouraged to contact an AEOC representative at aeoc@genesee.edu or visit GCC's Food Pantry at the Batavia Campus located at One College Road, Batavia, New York.
Anyone wishing to donate to GCC's Food Pantry, whether cash, food or personal hygiene items, can do so year-round by emailing the AEOC at aeoc@genesee.edu, calling (585) 343-0055 ext. 6836, or simply dropping the donation off to any food bin on GCC's Batavia campus.

For more information, contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email: dsutherland@genesee.edu.

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