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Beyond the Stacks

Welcome to McHenry County College Library's virtual monthly display! We'll feature a monthly rotating theme with links to library resources, suggested keywords and terms for searching the catalog and library databases, and more.

This Month

September: Hunger Action Month

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Food Insecurity

The US Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as "US Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines as “a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food." (1)  In 2018, estimates showed that more than 37 million Americans were food insecure.

According to Feeding America, "One 'bad month' can be enough to plunge a household into food insecurity. Lay-offs at work, unexpected car maintenance or an accident on the job can suddenly force a family to choose between buying food and paying bills. Working families across America face countless situations that can result in food insecurity and hunger." (2)

Food insecurity can impact multiple areas of one's life: 

  • Health conditions (such as diabetes and high blood pressure) are more prevalent and more difficult to manage (3)
  • Children's development is inhibited and they become more susceptible to common illnesses like headaches and colds (4)
  • Mental health problems increase (5)


Effects of COVID-19 on Food Insecurity

According to the Pew Research Center, "Unemployment rose higher in three months of COVID-19 than it did in two years of the Great Recession" (6). Families lost sometimes multiple incomes, resulting in hardships they may not have had to face before. According to a study from Feeding America, places that typically experienced low rates of food insecurity before COVID-19 will see the largest relative increases in food insecurity (7). Vince Hall, CEO of Feeding San Diego, told NBC News that they're seeing a more than 40% increase in demand and many new faces (8). Supplies and donations to food banks have decreased, especially when stay-at-home orders were first implemented. Many grocery stores that previously donated to food banks now saw their own shelves empty as people started panic-buying. Some local food pantries also had to close their doors when contactless pick-up wasn't an option (8).


Get Involved

Feeding America suggests a number of ways to participate in Hunger Action Month:

  1. Thank those who work or volunteer at food banks. They're putting themselves at risk to provide food for others.
  2. Know the facts about hunger and food insecurity, then spread the word.
  3. Start a social media fundraiser to raise funds and awareness of food insecurity and Hunger Action Month.
  4. Volunteer at a food bank or food pantry.
  5. Have open conversations with others about food insecurity.
  6. Donate to your local food pantry. The Crystal Lake Food Pantry lists their most-needed items here. Cash donations allow food pantries to purchase non-perishable items like milk, meat, and dairy products.
  7. Vote.












MCC Library

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Questions? To contact an MCC Librarian, click on

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Fall 2020 Semester Hours:

The MCC Library will be open to currently enrolled MCC students only until further notice. 

Monday through Thursday:

8:00am to 6:00pm



Monday, September 7 -- Labor Day

Tuesday, November 3 -- Election Day

Wednesday-Friday, November 25-27 -- Thanksgiving Recess  



Campus Resources

If you are food insecure and would like assistance,

contact Crisis Intervention and Prevention Services.


Crisis Intervention and Prevention Services

Contact Rachel Boldman, Director of Crisis Intervention and Prevention Services

Room A252


Para más información en Español


Searching Library Databases: Helpful Keywords & Subject Terms

The following is a helpful list of keywords and Subject Terms for searching databases like Academic Search Complete.


Food security Food insecurity AND health outcomes
Food security measures Food supply chain
Food security laws Food deserts AND obesity
Food deserts Food insecurity AND Poverty
Food supply Transgenic Organisms (use for GMOs) AND food security
Food insecurity Biotechnology AND food security
Food security AND nutrition Food pantry
Food security AND climate change Food banks
Food security AND education Food relief
Food insecurity AND college students Emergency food supply