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Group of NECC students stand behind table of food at the farmers market.

Food Assistance for NECC Students

Food insecurity is a common challenge for college students in Massachusetts and across the country. Northern Essex Community College cares about its students and knows hunger can impact academic success. We have several initiatives aimed to help.

Free Monthly Farmer’s Market

In partnership with the Greater Boston Food Bank, NECC hosts a free farmer’s market each month during the academic year. All NECC students, faculty and staff are encouraged to take part. Learn more about the Free Monthly Farmers Market, and how to volunteer or pre-register here.

Smart Meals

Enjoy a free hot, healthy meal on campus! The “Smart Meals” are single serving, deep frozen meals that students can sign out and microwave. Students can request these meals at the Welcome Desk in Haverhill’s Student Center or at the Welcome Desk in El Hefni in Lawrence. Some of these meals are also delivered to the Riverwalk campus each week as well. NECC partners with Food for Free to make this initiative possible.

Pop-Up Peanut Butter and Jelly Stations

Pop up Peanut Butter and Jelly stations are located in many of the academic and advising centers on our campuses. Please feel free to drop by and make a free sandwich whenever the centers are open. Gluten-free bread and nut-free spread are also available upon request. Local donors make this initiative possible.

SNAP Benefits Application Assistance

Many students who qualify for financial aid also qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). If you are interested in seeing if you qualify and/or to apply, please visit Mass Department of Transitional Assistance for MA residents and for NH residents, please visit New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services.

For on-campus help applying for SNAP or additional food resources, please contact Community Resources at or 978-556-3471 to make an appointment.

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