College and university students may be learning online this year, but that doesn't mean their issues remain on campus.

A new bill, filed last week with the state House and Senate, pledges to reduce food insecurity among this population.

Dubbed the "Massachusetts Hunger-Free Campus Initiative," the newly filed legislation pledges to not only create resources to better inform students of federal and state benefits and their eligibility for them but also provide spaces and funds for them to use those resources on campus. Additionally, it pledges to create an emergency fund to support students in need of help with food.

The bill was filed by the Hunger-Free Campus Coalition, a consortium of food banks and colleges and universities across the state founded in 2019, months before the pandemic took hold in the Commonwealth.

Holyoke Community College is a member of the coalition. Its president, Christina Royal, said the issue of food insecurity is prominent on campuses nationwide, and she's hopeful the bill can help address it.

"As a community college, our students are our citizens and residents in our community," Royal said. "And it's really difficult to educate a hungry student. We don't want students to have to choose between buying food or buying textbooks."

We're living more online now than ever before. We also heard from Stuart Madnick, aprofessor of information technology at MIT and founder of Cybersecurity at MIT Sloan Initiative, about how people and organizations can protect their personal information from hackers.

Click on the audio player above to listen to the full episode.


Laura Sylvester, the Legislative and Community Partnership Coordinator with the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, and Christina Royal - 2:43
Stuart Madnick - 20:08