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The Student News Site of Oakmont Regional High School

The Oakmonitor

The Student News Site of Oakmont Regional High School

The Oakmonitor

    Food Insecurity Presentation

    Cecelia Sears
    Photo of Molly Velasco speaking.

    Molly Velasco, Youth Engagement Manager, came to Oakmont Regional High School to discuss food insecurity. Molly works with the Food Justice program and the Free Meals program, based in Leominster, which helps students in communities get free and reduced lunch. Molly’s goal was to educate students about what food insecurity is, how it affects people, and how they can get help if it’s needed. She described that independence is one of the most important things for people in this program. Velasco said, “We never want the people to feel less than us, so we have real people who have been through this system helping others. It helps create a real connection.” Velasco wants to help people to be independent and do things on their own rather than being dependent on the program. 


    Molly Velasco described that food insecurity can look different depending on one’s situation. Molly spoke about the main reasons for food insecurity such as the cost of food, food being too expensive, transportation access, no grocery stores nearby, not being able to get any food due to how far you are from a grocery store, unhoused no access having access to a kitchen or supplies, lastly, food literacy which means not having the knowledge to cook for yourself. 

    During the presentation students, learned about two specific programs offered called HIP and SNAP. SNAP provides food benefits to low-income families to supplement their produce budget. HIP puts SNAP dollars for PRODUCE ONLY onto your EBT card (electronic benefit transfer). 

    Velasco spoke about the value of a food dollar and what percentage of the proceeds go to each step of the food processing industry. 

    What makes a person or household eligible for these food services? It is based on the “gross monthly income” and the household size for both individuals and households. 

    Household Size:

    1 person: $1,580-$1,215

    2 people: $2,137-$1,644

    3 people: $2,694-$2,072

    4 people: $3,250-$2,500

    Each member +$557


       Hip Benefits:

    1-2 people – $40 per month

    3-5 people – $60 per month 

    6+ people – $80 per month


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    About the Contributors
    Cecelia Sears
    Cecelia Sears, Reporter
    Cecelia Sears is part of the class of 2027 at Oakmont Regional High School. This is her first year being part of The Oakmonitor. During the school year she is apart of Oakmont´s winter and fall cheer season, and has been cheering since she was ten. Durning Cecelia´s free time she likes to hangout with friends. She enjoys going to the beach, baking, and listening to music.
    Frankie Donahue
    Frankie Donahue, Reporter
    Francesca Donahue is a part of the class of 2027 here at Oakmont.  This is her first year writing for The Oakmonitor.  She had done cheer since she was 5 years old and currently does cheer for Oakmont in the fall and winter . Outside of school, she enjoys listening to music, shopping, traveling and being with friends and family.  In the future, Francesca plans on pursuing a career in the medical field or early child education.
    Aiyana Sanborn
    Aiyana Sanborn, Assistant Editor-in-Chief
    AssAiyana Sanborn is a part of the Oakmont Class of 2024. This is her second year being part of The Oakmonitor team. Aiyana came to Oakmont in her junior year of high school. She is excited to be writing articles and working in the studio with the AWCM team. She is a part of the Oakmont Varsity Cheerleaders and she loves to volunteer at the Middle School to help the Overlook Chargers as well. Her main hobbies consist of drawing, taking pictures, being in nature, writing, coloring, fitness, hiking, and meditation. After her senior year, Aiyana is hoping to attend Finger Lakes College in Canandaigua, NY to be a Travel Journalist. Wish her good luck!
    Aubrey Lauletta
    Aubrey Lauletta, Reporter
    Aubrey Lauletta is part of the class of 2027 at Oakmont Regional High School. This is her first year being part of The Oakmonitor. She was on the town softball team for about 3 years and is planning on joining the softball team at Oakmont. In her free time, she loves going to the beach and tanning, walking, hanging out with friends and of course her family. She loves traveling to new places and seeing the beautiful sunset and takes pictures of it whenever she can. She has a seasonal place in Old Orchard beach, Maine that she stays at every year, while she’s in Maine she loves to ride her bike, thrift shopping, theme parks, walking on the pier and so much more. Aubrey is so excited and looking forward to seeing what Oakmoniter is all about.

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