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MassBay Partners with Hope & Comfort to Provide Basic Hygiene Products to Students

Wednesday, January 24, 2024


Liz Cooper


MassBay Community College provides hygiene items free of charge for students A MassBay Community College student picks up some toothpaste, soap, and other hygiene products at the MassBay Wellesley Hills campus, Wellesley Hills, MA, December 2023 (Photo/MassBay Community College).


WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass. (January 24, 2024) — According to Needham-based non-profit Hope & Comfort, one out of three people in Massachusetts are facing hygiene poverty, or the inability to afford everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, and deodorant. This year MassBay Community College and Hope & Comfort celebrate their fourth year of partnership to provide free access to basic hygiene products to MassBay students who are facing hygiene insecurity. The collaboration provides students free and easy access to basic hygiene products throughout the College’s three campuses.

“Our students are sincerely grateful for the products Hope & Comfort supplies because it allows them a level of dignity while pursuing their education,” said MassBay Vice President for Student Development and Dean of Students Elizabeth Blumberg, Psy.D. “With access to these basic hygiene items, our students are feeling better and healthier, without the worry of affording these often expensive necessities. We look forward to continuing this important partnership.”

Hope & Comfort collaborates with 500+ distribution community partners, like MassBay, to provide access to essential hygiene products to support the health, dignity, and confidence of children and adults in need. In Massachusetts alone, an estimated 2.3 million people face hygiene insecurity. Sustained access to hygiene items plays a pivotal role in supporting overall well-being, and Hope & Comfort’s efforts positively impact school attendance, employment prospects, and community engagement. In 2023, Hope & Comfort distribute more than 3 million products, helping more than 500,000 people in Massachusetts, including more than 1,000 students across MassBay’s three campuses.

Richie Haskell unloads a truck of donations for MassBay MassBay Community College staff member Richie Haskell picks up a monthly supply of hygiene products at the Hope & Comfort office and distribution center in Needham, MA, December 2023 (Photo/MassBay Community College). “MassBay has been an important partner of Hope & Comfort,” said CEO of Hope & Comfort Kerry Carter. “Having access to these products supports students’ health, dignity, and confidence. In 2023 Hope & Comfort was able to provide Massbay with close to 10,000 products, saving MassBay students an estimated $25,000 that would have come out of their pockets.”

“The resources MassBay provides our students are the wrap-around supports that people often don’t think about as barriers to completing their degree,” said MassBay Executive Administrator of Student Development Richie Haskell. “Students tell us that these items provide more than the physical products, they provide a level of self-esteem and self-worth that builds confidence and helps them along their path to academic completion. We know this relationship is having a profound impact on our students in and out of the classroom.”

This outstanding partnership is led by MassBay’s Student Nourishment And Care Committee (SNACC), which is a group of staff, faculty, students, and community volunteers who are dedicated to eliminating basic need barriers that are obstacles to student success.


Hope & Comfort logoHope & Comfort is the only organization in Massachusetts solely dedicated to addressing hygiene insecurity. Hope & Comfort focuses on providing sustained access to essential hygiene products — such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and menstrual products - to support the health, dignity, and confidence of children and adults in need in Massachusetts. Hope & Comfort partners with over 500 recipient organizations to achieve its mission and, in 2023, distributed more than 3 million essential hygiene products and helped ~500,000 people. Hope & Comfort achieved a Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency on Guidestar, and maintains a 4-star (100%) rating on Charity Navigator, making the organization among the “Most Highly Rated Charities” in the country. Visit Hope & Comfort’s website to learn more about the organization.


MassBay Community College is the most affordable higher education option in MetroWest Boston, offering a robust portfolio of courses and more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs with flexible day, evening, and weekend classes in Ashland, Framingham, Wellesley Hills, and online. MassBay students receive an unmatched educational value by earning stackable credits that transfer to bachelor’s degree programs, and workforce-ready skills necessary to advance careers in high-demand fields such as health and life sciences, automotive technology, engineering, business, cybersecurity, and the humanities. MassBay’s Associate Degree in Nursing (RN) and Practical Nursing (LPN) programs were both ranked as the #1 Nursing Program in Massachusetts in 2020-2021 by national nursing advocacy organizations, and Since its founding in 1961, MassBay has been accredited by several governing bodies and remains firmly committed to its mission of meeting the needs of the diverse local communities it serves. We value the intrinsic worth of all individuals, collectively in pursuit of inclusiveness and prioritize our work towards achieving equity within our community and beyond.


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