The Adult Education Center (AEC) and the Adult Basic Education (ABE) program at SCC serve CCS’ most vulnerable populations, including those who are currently or formerly homeless, previously incarcerated, and at-risk youth. Additionally, the AEC is home to a Head Start program that serves 85 families and 106 children.
The students and families at the AEC are trying to become financially stable by obtaining their education and looking for work, while also juggling raising a family. Their busy lives, paired with the price of gas and lack of transportation make getting to the store for food a challenge. In addition, food costs are rising, which makes it difficult for our students to provide healthy food for their families.
The typical family being served by the AEC makes under $24,300 for a family of four, which is at the poverty level. We currently have 65 families who are under that poverty level, an additional 16 families who receive public assistance, and another 8 families who are homeless.
Thanks to a grant the AEC received in 2015-16, they were able to partner with Second Harvest to provide on-site mobile food banks. These monthly food bank events provided necessary food and essentials to our students and families and were critical in helping them get through the month. Unfortunately, the grant was not available this year, leaving our students once again vulnerable to food insecurity and being unable to feed themselves or their families.
While the AEC searches for a permanent source of funding, the CCS Foundation Board of Directors awarded them a $3,500 grant to help them bridge the gap and continue to be able to serve our students who are most in need. With these funds, more than 1,300 students have received food assistance through the AEC.