Berkeley College Foundation Launches Food Pantry at Woodland Park Campus to Combat 'Invisible Epidemic' of Food Insecurity

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 19, 2022
Contact: Kelly Depsee
Director, Communications and External Relations
973-200-1099
KME@BerkeleyCollege.edu
BERKELEY COLLEGE FOUNDATION LAUNCHES FOOD PANTRY
AT WOODLAND PARK CAMPUS
TO COMBAT ‘INVISIBLE EPIDEMIC’ OF FOOD INSECURITY

Berkeley Pantry

Photo Caption (L to R): Ellen Zitis, Executive Director, Berkeley College Foundation; Diane Recinos, EdD, President of Berkeley College; Kevin L. Luing, Board Chairman, Berkeley College; and LaTysha Gaines, Campus Operating Officer, Berkeley College in Woodland Park, NJ, cut the ribbon to open the Berkeley College Foundation Food Pantry in Woodland Park – the third pantry at a Berkeley College campus – on Wednesday September 14, 2022. 

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The Berkeley College Foundation celebrated the opening of a Food Pantry at Berkeley College’s Woodland Park campus during a ceremony on Wednesday, September 14, 2022. The student resource – the third pantry at a Berkeley College campus – ensures students have access to proper nourishment without sacrificing their education. 

“Food insecurity is a problem that strikes at the heart of New Jersey and Passaic County,” said Diane Recinos, EdD, President of Berkeley College. “Our students are working hard in the classroom, at their internships, and at their jobs, but hunger can make it hard to focus, and hard to be successful.” 

The Community FoodBank of New Jersey estimates that 140,000 college students experience food insecurity across the Garden State. 

Ellen Zitis, Executive Director, Berkeley College Foundation, said the situation is referred to as an “invisible epidemic” that is spilling onto college campuses across the country. “The COVID-19 pandemic exposed issues where many people just did not think to look. Certainly food insecurity at colleges was one of them,” Zitis said. 

Read More: Click here to watch a segment about the food pantry on News 12 New Jersey. Click here to read an article on NorthJersey.com

In 2011, the College & University Food Bank Alliance reported 88 college food pantries across the United States. In 2021, that number has grown to more than 700. 

“Food insecurity is an issue being experienced by many college students nationwide and has increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation, which has caused costs of food and other basic needs to significantly increase,” said James Marshmon, Director, Student Development and Campus Life, who also serves as the Food Pantry Manager at Berkeley College in Woodland Park.

Berkeley Pantry 

Photo Caption: (Left) Jocelyn Gonzalez of Piscataway, NJ, addresses the audience during the Berkeley College Foundation Food Pantry opening ceremony on Wednesday, September 14, 2022. Gonzalez, a single mother, has utilized the food pantry at Berkeley College since she enrolled in fall 2021. (Right) James Marshmon, Director, Student Development and Campus Life and Food Pantry Manager, shows off the new resource for students. 

The food pantry was established in collaboration with the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, with additional donations from ShopRite of Passaic and Primepak. It offers not only meal essentials, but also household items and toiletries. 

Berkeley College launched its first Food Pantry in Newark in 2019, made possible through a $10,000 donation from the Berkeley College Foundation. The Foundation established a second pantry at the College’s Midtown Manhattan campus in February 2021. 

Jocelyn Gonzalez of Piscataway, NJ, a Berkeley College student and single mother, said she has utilized the food pantry since she enrolled in fall 2021. 

“As a single mom, the food pantry has helped to lighten the load of everyday life,” said Gonzalez, who hopes to one day be a social worker. “It gives you more time to focus on your academics. We are here to be successful, career-driven individuals who give back to society the way Berkeley gives back to their students.” 

The Berkeley College Foundation Food Pantry is open every other Wednesday during the fall 2022 semester and as needed for food emergencies. Students can also place orders online, which can be picked up at Berkeley College in Woodland Park. In addition, the Office of Student Development and Campus Life offers a “Grab and Go” option once a month, with themed bags of food such as breakfasts, lunches, or holiday dinner items.

Berkeley Pantry  

Photo Caption: (Left) Diane Recinos, EdD, President of Berkeley College, delivers opening remarks during the Berkeley College Foundation Food Pantry opening ceremony on Wednesday, September 14, 2022. (Right, L to R) James Marshmon, Director, Student Development and Campus Life and Food Pantry Manager; Kevin L. Luing, Board Chairman, Berkeley College; Diane Recinos, EdD, President of Berkeley College; Jocelyn Gonzalez, Berkeley College student; LaTysha Gaines, Campus Operating Officer, Berkeley College in Woodland Park, NJ; Ellen Zitis, Executive Director, Berkeley College Foundation; and Heather Eaton-Dwyer, Dean of Students, Berkeley College. 

About Berkeley College

Berkeley College, founded in 1931, is a career-focused institution accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education that offers students Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associate’s degree and Certificate programs in more than 20 career fields. The College also offers Continuing Education programs to enhance career credentials.

Berkeley College has campuses in Midtown Manhattan, NY, and in Newark, Woodbridge and Woodland Park, NJ, with more than 4,000 students enrolled. In addition, Berkeley College Online® serves a global population. U.S. News & World Report has named Berkeley College among the Best Colleges for Online Bachelor’s Programs and among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans, for nine consecutive years. U.S. News & World Report named Berkeley College (NJ) one of the Best Regional Colleges in the North in its 2022 edition of the Best Colleges Survey. Berkeley College (NJ) was recognized among the Best Colleges in the region for social mobility for three consecutive years. The website address is http://www.BerkeleyCollege.edu.

About the Berkeley College Foundation

The mission of the Berkeley College Foundation (BCF) is to provide support and resources to students pursuing quality experiences in higher education. Scholarships are awarded to current and prospective students to help defray the cost of tuition and to enhance participation in educational enrichment activities. The BCF also awards grants to other worthy educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. In addition, the BCF launched on-campus food pantries at Berkeley College campuses in Newark and New York City, establishing a much-needed resource to address the growing economic and food insecurity challenge in higher education. The BCF also provide a subsidized MetroCard program. Based in New Jersey, the charitable organization received 501(c) 3 status in 2015. Visit www.BerkeleyCollegeFoundation.org.

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