As students return to school during Hunger Action Month, Monmouth University’s Student Government Association works with Fulfill to bring mobile food pantry to campus
About 100 Monmouth University students came out to Fulfill’s mobile food pantry on Tuesday outside the Rebecca Stafford Student Center to receive food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, as they begin the new school year. This was the third time the “pantry on wheels” came to Monmouth University’s campus, with approximately 200 students receiving food during the first two visits. The partnership, which was initiated by the University’s Student Government Association, is intended to serve students who don’t have a meal plan.
“Fulfill, formerly the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties, works hard to ensure all students have the nutrition they need to learn. The truth is college campuses are not immune from food insecurity,” said Kim Guadagno, Fulfill CEO and president and former lieutenant governor of New Jersey. “Fulfill’s Mobile Food Pantry brings healthy food right to students, so food is convenient for pick up. We need to lose the stigma about hunger, because hunger is everywhere, including college campuses.”
“Food insecurity among college students is real—and Monmouth is no exception,” said Mary Anne Nagy, university vice president for student life and leadership engagement. “We know that access to nutritious, affordable foods can be out of reach for many of our students, which is why our community partnership with Fulfill is so important. We can now supplement our student-run dry pantry with fresh fruit and vegetables from the Fulfill mobile pantry, ensuring we have a variety of food options more readily available to our students in need.”
Mehdi Husaini, Monmouth University student and former student government president, helped facilitate outreach to Fulfill, which fostered the partnership with Monmouth University and the mobile food pantry. “Over the course of a year, the Student Government Association at Monmouth University has fed about 400 students through our new on-campus food pantry, The Nest,” said Husaini. “As college students, we know that financial difficulties and the strains of life in school can be a burden that can prevent students from being able to access food. We are proud of our campus culture of helping one another, and see this initiative with Fulfill as an extension of a longstanding tradition of looking out for our peers. The impact and reception is unlike anything we could have ever imagined, and will undoubtedly continue for years to come.”
Monmouth University Student Government Association President Mike Fazzino added, “Overall, an on-campus food support system has been incredibly beneficial to the student body. The Nest has been widely successful over the past year; however, we would not be able to accomplish our goals without assistance from Fulfill. I’ve had personal conversations with various students who don’t know how they’ll pay for their next food shopping trip, or even their next meal. In my role as this year’s Student Government Association president, it is both my goal and my duty to continue to help reduce food insecurity on campus, and carry out the Monmouth motto of ‘Monmouth Hawks Fly Together.’”
According to Fulfill, approximately 3,500 pounds of food were distributed on Tuesday.