Campus Farm Fuels Food Security at Stockton
No Student Should Have to Skip Meals
Carl Archut Jr. ’16, former Student Senate president, became aware of food insecurity
on campus from an acquaintance who would skip meals to help pay for college. The USDA
defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to food for a healthy lifestyle.
After hearing stories from students, Archut took action. "It got me thinking. Are there more students out there who aren't sharing with us about this burden? There is not a lot of comfort in saying I need help, so we started a survey. It showed an evident need, and figures don't lie," he said.
The survey data got conversations started and with campus-wide support across divisions, a Food Assistance Program was started in 2015.
"Pride was the biggest barrier for people. It's okay to accept assistance. You are not any less," said Archut.
Help is just a click away. The Food Assistance Program website has a form that can be completed and submitted within minutes.
"I wanted [the program] to last well beyond my tenure as president. It makes me really happy to see the growth in the program and Alison's involvement. I get the chills talking about it," said Archut.
The Food Assistance program helped 186 students last fall.
"Students should never hunger for anything more than an education. When you take that concern away, students can get the nourishment to be able to think clearly, learn, absorb and make themselves the best version of themselves," he said.
Archut's inspiration to give back is his grandmother, "Mom-Mom," who raised Archut and his siblings with his father. "I learned through her and my dad, to help people when you can. I remember during the holidays and throughout the year, she always gave whatever she could. Every dollar counts," he said.
Archut is now associate director of Development for Parent & Family Giving at the University of Florida.
Galloway Food Pantry Set to Move
Stockton's two food pantries, located in the Dean of Students Office in Galloway and in the Residential Life Building (A-127) in Atlantic City, have remained open throughout the pandemic.
The Galloway pantry is moving to the Townsend Residential Life Center (TRLC) over the summer and will be setup for the fall 2021 semester.
"We are trying to expand our offerings. Professor Jack Lewis's twin daughters in high school had an ethnic hair care drive and brought three or four boxes of products to the pantry," said Monica Viani, an assistant supervisor in the Dean of Students Office.
The students who have been coming to the pantry during the pandemic have been "so appreciative," said Viani.
Anyone can donate to the food panties through the Amazon wish list that automatically populates the correct address to send products to Stockton.
The Stockton Farm Goes to Market
The community can support Stockton's campus farm at local farmer's markets, and students who are interested in internships at the farm over the summer can reach out to Ron Hutchison, associate professor of Sustainability, at Ron.Hutchison@Stockton.edu.
The Sustainability program is also enhancing and refocusing the campus community garden to model and promote community food and garden techniques for the campus community.
C.R.O.P.S. Market in Pleasantville
Wednesdays, 4-7 p.m.
May 5-June 23 and July 7-Aug. 25
Location: City Hall Parking Lot, 18 N. 1st St.
Galloway Green Market in Smithville
Thursdays, 4-7 p.m.
June 24- Sept.2
Location: Historic Smithville