You had me at 'free': Pilot program serves up free breakfast to all MCC students this semester

February 16, 2022 | Tim Engle

Just as the campuses started filling up with students Feb. 14, Metropolitan Community College launched a free-breakfast pilot program at the Blue River, Longview, Maple Woods and Penn Valley cafes. (The spring semester started Jan. 18 with most in-person classes converted to virtual learning for four weeks due to a surge in cases of the omicron variant.)

We're not talking about a basket of granola bars here. Each MCC student will qualify for a $6 discount -- on such yumminess as breakfast burritos, fruit and yogurt parfaits, pastries and coffee - from 7-10 a.m. Monday - Thursday. Students have to set up online accounts (or use the 365Pay app) to get the discount at MCC cafe kiosks. If they spend more than $6, they'll pay the balance.

The $6 is use-it-or-lose-it daily (Monday-Thursday); it doesn't accumulate in a student's account.

Why free breakfast? The College knows that for some students, food insecurity is a real issue. We want everyone to start the school day with breakfast in their belly, ready to learn.

MCC officials are hoping the breakfast program will run through April 30. It's being paid for by dollars from the federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF).