Worcester State University
Intergenerational Urban Institute



The Hunger Outreach Team (HOT) is comprised of an intergenerational group of WSU students.  Our mission is to reduce hunger through research, education, and direct assistance. Some members of Commonwealth Corps decided to continue their "Ending Hunger Together" work so they formed HOT in 2010. Dr. Maureen Power, Urban Studies Professor and Executive Director of the Intergenerational Urban Institute continues as advisor.


  • HOT was preceded by Commonwealth Corps, a team of intergenerational students formed in fall, 2008 from a grant from the Commonwealth of MA to create teams of volunteers of all ages across the state.
  • Team members were trained to assist applicants, especially seniors and college students, for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps. The team was given space for a SNAP Office in the Urban Studies Department where HOT members now schedule confidential appointments to assist SNAP applicants.



  • Visiting local Senior Centers, Councils on Aging, Residence Service Coordinators to inform them about HOT and tell them about our research
  • Playing our SNAP BINGO game for seniors which contains 75 different SNAP facts and which helps reduce incorrect concepts about SNAP eligibility, myths, and stigma barriers
  • Attending training sessions and regional SNAP related meetings
  • Organizing events on the Worcester State University campus such as the Empty Bowl to inform and educate attendees about hunger in the United States and our community.  This fundraising event raises funds for local hunger relief while raising awareness of hunger, the value of SNAP benefits in putting food on people's table and how SNAP monies the local economy.

Direct assistance:

  • Organizing outreach sessions at local senior centers and councils on aging to assist interested seniors in applying for SNAP benefits
  • Creating appointments for college students to discuss their eligibility for SNAP benefits and assist them to apply for food stamps if requested.  
  • Following through after each application submitted to ensure support and advocacy throughout the application process

Team members:

Thea Aschkenase  taschkenase@worcester.edu

Kathleen Collins  kcollins7@worcester.edu

Judith Knight  jknight3@worcester.edu

Barbara Lucci  blucci@worcester.edu

Maryellen Macuen  mmacuen@worcester.edu

Theresa McCarthy  tmccarthy@worcester.edu


Related Links:
  Generations United (GU)
  Journal of Intergenerational Relationships
  AARP of Massachusetts
  Commonwealth Corps Calendar
  Social Capital Blog
  Govenor Patrick to Create State Volunteer Corps
  Commonwealth Corps Newsletter
  Commonwealth Corps



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