RCGC clubs launch ‘Cheap Eats’ program

Low-cost food provided for students, staff on Wednesdays in summer

Food is the fuel that makes the human body function – without food, the body can’t work at its highest capacity. When Rowan College of South Jersey associate professor of biology Susan Glenn and dean of the STEM division Christina Nase, discovered the cafeteria would be shutting down for the summer, they took it upon themselves to remedy that situation.

Thus the “Cheap Eats” program was born.

“Every Wednesday, we are providing inexpensive lunch for students and staff,” Glenn described. “We realized students are sort of stuck for a short time between classes and there’s nowhere on campus for them to eat.”

Glenn, the Japanese Anime Guild advisor, and Nase, the Women in STEM Academy and Science Club advisor, met with other representatives from student life and pulled their resources together to start the summer program.

For $2, staff and students can get lunch every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. at high-traffic areas at the college such as the College Center Lobby. In weeks past, the group has served up Cup Noodles with fruit, macaroni and cheese with cookies or slices of pizza. All meals are served with a bottle of water.

“Some of the staff like to grab things like Cup Noodles or mac and cheese cups because they can keep them in their office on days they forget lunch, knowing there’s no cafeteria open. They can help themselves a little,” Glenn added.

The clubs fund the program with excess funds from their accounts. Any money made from the program will go right back to the clubs.

“The original design wasn’t for profit but just to provide an extra service,” Nase said. “We just want to feed people.”

Nase continued, noting the college has a student-centered culture, so this program fits in perfectly.

“It provides a nice environment. This is fun. It’s fun for people to have a place to hang out,” she added. “It’s a great meeting place for faculty and staff that maybe don’t always get to talk, they can stop in for five or 10 minutes. It gets people out of their offices.”

With summer classes being offered in four-hour, blocks the students are limited with food options between classes, this program remedies that issue, giving students and staff a quick, cheap way to eat between classes.

“A lot of students have problems with transportation,” Glenn said. “If they leave campus to eat, the chances of them being able to come back to the afternoon class on time is not good.”

Hailey Hoose, a game design major and member of the Japanese Anime Guild, and Liliana Lemanowicz, a physics graduate involved in the Women in STEM Academy and Science Club, were working a recent “Cheap Eats” day. The girls were proud of the environment provided for the program, among other things.

“I think it’s a really good thing to do because we can help provide the students with food for cheap prices,” Hoose said. “It’s nice to provide them with something that isn’t super overpriced and will make them happy and feed them.”

“It’s tough in summer because classes are so long,” Lemanowicz added. “It’s difficult for faculty and students to go off campus to eat. By giving them an affordable option here on campus, it really helps them out.”

The “Cheap Eats” program is scheduled for every Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. For more information or to ask questions, reach out to Samantha Van Kooy at svankooy@rcsj.edu.