Friday, April 6, 2018

Stockton Food Assistance Implements Campus Food Pantry

by Jocelyn Quinones

As the semester approaches it end, some students come across the most frustrating question of being a college student away from Mom’s home cooked meals. “What am I going to eat?” With limited meal swipes, or excessive usage, students find themselves in difficult situations when their balance reaches zero. In an effort to put an end to campus hunger, Stockton has been implanting new methods to make students comfortable enough to step forward and be resourceful.

This issue was brought to the attention of the Campus Board of Trustees and in doing so, they approved the Food Assistance Program in July of 2015, officially implemented in the Fall 2015 semester. Before the Pantry’s opening, they developed meal vouchers in which students can obtain up to 5 per week. These vouchers gave students free access to the campus N-wing dining. As more students stepped forward, and let officials know N-wing hours conflicted most days with their class schedules, they developed the pantry. This made it so students could also cook at home or in their dorms beyond Stockton hours.

Fortunately, the rules to the pantry are simple. Located in the Dean of Students' Office, students can just go in, sign their Z number, grab a bag, and just start packing. There isn’t a limit to how many items students can take, and it is completely free and anonymous. There’s no set criteria for participation, and no student will be denied access to vouchers or the pantry. Since its opening on February 1st, there have been a total of 110 visits, which averages to 11 visits a week. To date, the pantry has received 2 restock orders from the Community food bank and over 800 items from both the Student Senate, and The Center for Community Engagement food drives. If you ever find yourselves starving on campus, come by and grab some food, because there is plenty of it.

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