The problem of food insecurity exists on campuses all across the United States. In a 2015 article from the American Council on Education’s Christopher Nellum, even major campuses like the City University of New York (CUNY) and the University of California (UC) systems were found to have problems. Those problems extended down to the Glassboro campus of Rowan University as well.
According to the Rowan Affordability Task Force, a survey was conducted with 6,000 students during the spring 2016 semester. During the course of that survey, 51 percent of students said that at some point in their college career, they had to cut back on one or more meals each week. It was evident from the results of the survey that something had to be done. That something was the SHOP.
The SHOP (Students Helping Other Profs) is a food pantry on campus that was introduced to the university community in March 2017, and the recently opened resource center at Rowan University continues to fulfill its mission of helping students who are less fortunate when it comes to hunger and food insecurity. The main office is located in the Rowan Boulevard Apartments in room 141 of building number five.
Since the opening of this resource center, many students have received help with the dual problems of food insecurity and lack of nutrition on campus. Rbrey Singleton, SGA student trustee and the brains behind the SHOP said that he takes joy in seeing the good that it can do.
“Last semester, we had about 13 or 14 students per day come in,” Singleton said. “It gives me great pleasure and pride to fight the good fight every day, to know we’ve made a difference.”
Singleton also said that along with its on campus work The SHOP also partners with Fresh For All, known locally as Philabundance to provides fresh produce to those who seek and need it. Rowan students are able to attend these trips, which depart from the SHOP for free on Wednesdays from noon – 4 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., as well as two Saturdays per month.
And for Singleton, knowing that he’s made a difference on this issue is a reward in itself.
“This is also way bigger than me. This whole idea enforces Rowan’s force of giving. We can make the world and this campus a little better bit by bit,” he said.
But providing all of these services for the university community comes with a need to restock and replenish the shelves from time to time. As a result, the SHOP is holding a food drive for that purpose.
From now until the 22nd of this month, shopping carts will be stationed in front of the Chamberlain Student Center front desk and the Recreation Center front desk. All donations are apreciated, but the SHOP is always in need of certain items, including non-perishable goods, microwaveable food, personal hygiene products, pasta and other goods.
If students wish to learn more about the donation drive, they can contact Penny McPherson Myers, the associate VP for diversity and organizational effectiveness on campus by calling (856) 256-4086, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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