Rowan University opens food bank on campus

GLASSBORO, N.J. (WPVI) -- Go on to any college campus, and anything to do with food is always a very big deal.

How good is it, when can you get it?

But at Rowan University, they have offered up a solution to the question, 'how much does it cost?'

For some students that answer is at SHOP, Rowan University's brand-new campus resource center that will provide free food and toiletries to struggling students.

"Two dining halls on campus, we have all these eating options up and down Roman Boulevard, but if you don't have the funds to pay for it you can't access it," said student government senator Rbrey Singleton.

Last spring, Rowan did a survey and of the students who responded, 51% said they'd either cut or skipped a meal because they couldn't afford it - some more than once.

Student activists pushed for a food pantry to help those dealing with food insecurity.

"So when they are thinking about 'how and where my next meal going to come from and, I ran out of meal swipes, and I don't have money to go to McDonald's or Burger King,' hey: we just opened the food pantry!" said student government president Daniel Cardona.

The shop was purposely placed right in the middle of campus on the bottom floor. The idea is easy access for students who need it

"You don't really know who to ask for help, but now that this is here it's an easy way for people to access it," said Colleen Scott of Mt. Laurel.

T.J. Holloway has used food pantries before and says the SHOP will be a big help.

"Especially for students who need it. Students who are poor, students of color, things like that who will definitely need this as a resource," said Holloway.

It's an important issue on campus, because there are consequences for students who go hungry.

"The lack of ability to concentrate, to even get out of bed in the morning, to be able to focus on tests," said Associate VP of Diversity Penny McPherson-Myers.

The student Government Association and the University foundation helped stock the shelves, along with other donors. Lessons will be offered on how to make nutritious meals from what's on the shelves.

The organizers of SHOP want to get the message to fellow students who struggle financially and don't get enough to eat:

"The community has your back, we want you to get through school. We don't want you to be hungry," Daniel said.

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