Food Supply For Dorming Students

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Canned goods that can be found inside the food pantry. Photo courtesy of Salvation Army US West/Flickr

More than 90 students remain at NJCU’s residence halls despite the university being closed. While many forage for supplies due to the Coronavirus, the students on campus are being taken care of. According to Jennifer Luciano, assistant dean of Residence Life and Student Engagement, "Gourmet Dining has a variety of to-go meals for students. The Food Pantry is also open if they need additional supplies.”

Robert Quinones, assistant director of Community Engagement says the Food Pantry is opened “from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.” In addition, the pantry provides the students with backpacks. “The backpacks contain basic essentials such as rice, beans, pasta sauce and canned vegetables. Students may also select a box of cereal and shelf stable milk while supplies last,” Quinones says. “I will continue to do all I can to keep the pantry stocked to meet student needs.”

In continuing to meet student needs, Luciano says Residence Life contacts students to see how they are doing and if there is anything they need. Luciano says: “We support and provide the students whenever we can.  We would even take runs to grocery stores to see what we can help them with.” However, due to limited supply, not all students on campus have access to masks and gloves. “While we cannot provide each student who is currently dorming with gloves and masks, we ensure them to always wash their hands and have good hygiene.

The cleaning staff has some gloves to share but not for all the students,” Luciano says. Luciano also says the amount of students on campus usually increases to 120 students but always decreases to about 90. “It ranges because everyday you have students checking out and coming back to grab more things they left behind since Spring Break. No one anticipated this would happen while we are on Spring Break so students would come back to get their school supplies and the things they need.”

In early April, President Sue Henderson announced through email that an international student who dormed at NJCU had tested positive for Covid-19. However, the student had already returned home. Residence Life made sure to sanitize all the dorms. Students had no concerns after precautions were taken. Luciano says :“We encourage social distancing and a 24-hour quiet place. No outside guests are allowed in the halls …Overall the residence community have been good at responding and being diligent towards one another.”

Additional reporting by Sandra Mendez