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The Free Market at TCC: A New Chapter in Addressing College Student Food Insecurity

Shelves of food items available at the food bank

An official launch and ribbon cutting ceremony for The Free Market at Tidewater Community College was held on February 26 to celebrate the collaboration between the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore and TCC, as well as the commitment to eradicating food insecurity among college students.

For more than three years, The Community Feed at MacArthur Mall, a partnership between the Foodbank and TCC, has been a valuable resource for the community, offering nutritious food options and addressing the underlying issues of food insecurity. The grand opening of The Free Market brought together community leaders and representatives from both organizations to commemorate this significant relocation to TCC’s campus and ignite renewed focus on serving Tidewater Community College students, as originally intended.

“Food insecurity has the potential to harm college students’ ability to achieve their educational and professional goals,” says Christopher Tan, president and CEO of the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore. “This partnership brings together the expertise and resources of the Foodbank with the localized understanding and proximity of the TCC community, creating a more efficient and targeted approach to address the unique challenges of college students struggling with food insecurity.”

The Free Market – located at 300 Granby St., Norfolk, VA 23510 – began welcoming students in early January. The soft launch phase focused on refining its operations, gathering feedback from the student community, and fine-tuning its services to ensure a seamless and impactful experience for students in need.