By Jahsaun Blackshear
In the modern world, countless people are experiencing hardships. There are students facing a lack of resources that are not being properly fulfilled. The U.S. fights against hunger and for the fulfillment of the needs of communities. In New Jersey, various volunteers, donation centers and fundraising organizations are dedicated to ending hunger. The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) has stepped up to create a way for students and community members who are struggling to afford sufficient food.
Following the Covid-19 pandemic, TCNJ reopened its food pantry, The Shop, which provides for the surrounding neighborhoods in Ewing and TCNJ students by offering food, utility assistance, TCNJ Student Emergency Fund and other necessities.
When asked what inspired her to be a part of The Shop, Case Manager Alexa Horvath said, “providing food to the campus and local community and helping to address at least one basic need.”
Because students’ main focus is on their academics, The Shop helps alleviate some students’ concerns surrounding food insecurity by providing basic necessities. The Shop’s mission of serving the community takes it one step closer to eradicating food insecurity on campus. According to The Shop’s website, nearly 30% to 40% of college students face some level of food insecurity. When asked about the impact The Shop has on the community, Horvath said, “Whether this is something that our community uses to help through a difficult time, or more regularly to help support their access to food, the amount of visitors that we have seen over a relatively short period of time seems to indicate that this has been a valuable resource.”
The Shop helps students on campus both academically and personally. It also helps with networking, meeting new people and gaining access to better resources.
Through providing food to the campus and local community, The Shop addresses at least one of their basic needs. The Shop’s staff wants everyone to know that “you can make a difference and help keep our shelves stocked by donating non-perishable items.”
Anyone wishing to donate to The Shop can do so by visiting give.tcnj.edu. Click “give now,” select fund: “The SHOP@TCNJ.” The Shop also has an Amazon registry where people can donate items to them.
The Shop is located at 700 Campus Town Drive, which is at TCNJ’s campus. Those seeking to connect with The Shop can also contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow them on Instagram @theshop__tcnj.