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Max Baker Resource Center receives large donation from Stop & Shop

UMass Chan Medical School students ensure pantry is stocked with food, supplies for campus community

By Bryan Goodchild, Kaylee Pugliese and Colleen Locke

UMass Chan Medical School Communications

December 16, 2021

Studies have shown that when college students lack access to nutritional food they are less likely to graduate. In a continuing effort to ease the burden of food insecurity in the UMass Chan Medical School community, the Student Body Committee of the T.H. Chan School of Medicine has teamed up with Stop & Shop to ensure that the Max Baker Resource Center is well stocked with food and resources.

“Food insecurity is one of the major things that contributes to stress and our ability to succeed,” said Colin Burnett, a second-year medical student and co-president of the Student Body Committee. “We want to do our part to decrease the burden that food insecurity would otherwise have on people’s lives.”

On Wednesday, Dec. 15, Burnett and other medical students were on hand to accept a delivery of $1,400 worth of cereal, canned goods, nonperishables and other essential supplies from the store on Grafton Street in Worcester. Burnett said they hope this is the beginning of a long collaboration with the grocery chain.

“A lot of people believe that food pantries are mostly for those in our neighborhood. But right here, right in our school, we have numerous people who are struggling,” said Lyle Suh, a second-year medical student and Student Body Committee co-president. “We believe that the Max Baker Resource Center can alleviate at least part of that burden and let students and staff in our community focus on what they're here to do.”

Located outside Amphitheatre I on the second floor of the Medical School building, the Max Baker Resource Center is open to the UMass Chan community 24/7 via ID badge. Anyone can take as much as they need, anonymously and with no questions asked.

Burnett said that the Stop & Shop partnership will ensure that the resource center is stocked more regularly. If members of the UMass Chan community notice that items are missing or something should be added, they can contact the SBC at StudentBodyCommittee@umassmed.edu.

Members of the Student Body Committee launched the Max Baker Resource Center in November 2018 with significant support from James Baker, MD, MPH, instructor in family medicine & community health. Baker lost his 23-year-old son, Max, in 2016 to a drug overdose. Max Baker had aspired to apply to medical school after completing premed studies.

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