On Monday, March 27, 2017, Peter Dello Russo, Bridgewater Savings Bank president and CEO, presented Nick Palantzas, senior vice president and vice president of the Canton Campus of Massasoit Community College, and Kevin Walsh, president of the Massasoit Foundation, with a check for $2,500 to support the College’s Homeless Student Emergency Fund.

(l-r) Steve Murphy, Director of College Advancement; Peter Dello Russo, Bridgewater Savings Bank president and CEO; Kevin Walsh, president of the Massasoit Foundation; Patty Lynch, Associate Dean for Experiential Learning at Massasoit; and Nick Palantzas, Senior Vice President and Vice President of the Canton Campus of Massasoit.

Established in December 2015 through a donation from a faculty member, the Homeless Student Emergency Fund was provides students experiencing homelessness or food insecurity with referrals and resources, both on campus and in their communities.

In keeping with the recommendations of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth and in an effort to streamline services for our students, Massasoit has designated a single point of contact.

“We believe in giving back to the community and being able to help students and families that are struggling is very important to us,” said Peter Dello Russo, President and CEO of Bridgewater Savings, an active community partner. “We are proud to service the financial needs of the people in our communities, but to also play a role in offering support to students that are enduring hardships means a lot to all of us here at the Bank.”

In the fall 2016 semester, the fund provided 432 Massasoit cafeteria vouchers worth $10, 31 31-day BAT bus passes, 5 bags of personal grooming supplies, and 11 referrals to support services both within and outside the College. All students who sought assistance were introduced to the Massasoit food pantry; the food pantry has reported 119 visitors since the start of the academic year.

A 2016 Massachusetts Department of Higher Education survey revealed that 45% of Massachusetts public colleges have experienced an increase in student homelessness, and 25 out of 29 campuses reported operating food pantries or mobile food markets for students facing food insecurity. Massasoit is among the 88% of public campuses offering community resource referrals and the more than 50% of campuses offering food vouchers and drives to assist students who face food insecurity.

“Massasoit is grateful, on behalf of our students, for the support of the Bridgewater Savings Charitable Foundation,” said Senior Vice President Palantzas. “The College community has rallied around our efforts to ensure that our students have the means to succeed at Massasoit, and we’re happy to have Bridgewater Savings as a community partner in that effort.”

About Bridgewater Savings Charitable Foundation: The Bridgewater Savings Charitable Foundation was established in 2003. Bridgewater Savings is a full service financial institution offering commercial, consumer and residential loans as well as business and personal banking. Please visit www.bridgewatersavings.com or call 508.884.3300 for additional information. Bridgewater Savings is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and a member of the Depositors Insurance Fund (DIF). Bridgewater Savings is an Equal Housing Lender.

Patty Lynch, Associate Dean of Experiential Learning, has been designated as Massasoit’s Single Point of Contact. She may be reached at plynch18@massasoit.mass.edu, at 508-588-9100, x1018, or in room SC1183 in the Student Center on the Brockton Campus.