Fulfill, the food bank of Monmouth of Ocean Counties, has been serving the community for decades, and is a vital service during the novel coronavirus pandemic. Now, on conjunction with the food bank, volunteers from Ocean County College have come together while the campus is closed to provide “crisis boxes” of essentials for students, and their families, in need.
Using the OCC App, students are able to register, and coordinate a pickup, for a box of food that will feed a family of four for four days. Additionally, beginning this month, the boxes will be accompanied by a care package of artistic activities for all ages provided by staff at the Jay and Linda Grunin Center for the Arts and the Robert J. Novins Planetarium.
“While classes continue to be held remotely, the needs of our students remain,” remarked Kenneth J. Malagiere, executive director of the OCC Foundation, which is joining with OCC student volunteers Cristina Baldino, Spencer Salas, and Isabella Salas; members of the OCC Phycology Club; and College Facilities, Security, and Student Life teams to offer this program.
“Our Foundation is committed to assisting the students and campus community of Ocean County College, beyond scholarships, through our Student Emergency Relief Fund, as well as participating in vital projects like our burgeoning partnership with Fulfill.”
Also pitching in alongside Malagiere are Sherri Bray, assistant director of events and advertising for the Foundation, and Dr. Margaret Maghan, OCC psychology lecturer.
Ocean County College is home to the Helping Hands Food Pantry, a student-run initiative that, when classes are in session, aids students who express food insecurity. “Though our physical space is closed, our dedication to helping students meet their basic needs remains paramount,” said Pantry Director Alison Noone, OCC’s Assistant Director of Student Life. “Delivering gift cards and boxes of food, connecting students to resources, and more will continue as our students’ needs increase.”
In March, when it was announced classes would be held remotely for the remainder of the semester, OCC donated all of its perishable foods to the B.E.A.T. Center of Toms River to help individuals in need during this uncertain and challenging time. (https://www.ocean.edu/news/occ-donating-all-perishable-food-on-campus-to-the-b-e-a-t-center/)
While this pandemic continues, dates for future crisis box distributions – to be promoted on the OCC App – will be available for OCC students and their families as coordinated through the office of Student Life.
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