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Alumni Association helps college fight food insecurity, promote inclusivity

Food insecurity and campus inclusivity are two prominent issues on the forefront of TCNJ’s 2021 agenda; and the Alumni Association Board of Directors is here to help the cause.

On November 12, the board fully funded a $12,500 proposal for the campus food pantry, The Shop@TCNJ. It also provided partial funding to the Division of Inclusive Excellence, $20,000, for a diversity narratives art exhibition, featuring TCNJ students, faculty, and staff.

In response to increased requests from students to provide emergency aid to peers struggling with food insecurity, TCNJ Cares created a three-priority proposal for The Shop@TCNJ. The plan included creating grocery bags for students who remained on campus during the pandemic, purchasing a refrigerator to safely store pre-packaged, pre-cooked meals from the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen, and making quarantine care packages for students who have to isolate because of COVID-19.

“The alumni association’s goal this year is to sponsor and provide funding for several different areas of the college,” says Pete Simons, president of the alumni association. “We hope our donation will motivate our alumni to assist us in supporting The Shop, which provides food and other services to not just the TCNJ community, but also the greater Mercer County area.”

The alumni association also voted to support a diversity narratives project, led by the Division of Inclusive Excellence. The exhibit will feature two dozen photographic portraits created by photographer Adam Mastoon, accompanied by powerful text and artwork created by the TCNJ community. The resulting showcase will generate a glimpse into the lives of TCNJ students, faculty, staff, and alumni who are committed to creating an inclusive community of acceptance, civility, diversity, and respect.

 “We want to utilize our resources this year to help a diverse group of programs at the college so that they are aware of TCNJ alumni’s commitment to their success this year and beyond. The diversity narratives project will be a legacy project for the entire TCNJ community to enjoy for years to come,” Simons says.

— David Pavlak

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