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Palomar opens new Food & Nutrition Center in ribbon-cutting ceremony

From left: Palomar College Governing Board Student Trustee Amber Bancroft; Trustee Nina Deerfield; Board President Paul McNamara; Board Vice President Dr. John Halcón; and Superintendent/President Dr. Joi Lin Blake.

Officials and guests of Palomar College gathered on Monday, Oct. 29 to celebrate the opening of the Anita and Stan Maag Food & Nutrition Center at the college’s main campus. The center represents a leap forward in Palomar’s ability to serve students suffering from food insecurity, college leaders said.

“We’re committed not only to helping students reach their educational goals, but to supporting the whole student,” Superintendent/President Dr. Joi Lin Blake said during the ceremony. “We want our college to be an environment where students’ needs are met with dignity and respect. This facility allows us to expand the program and provide a safe and judgment-free facility where students can get what they need.”

The project was funded by a $400,000 donation and has been under construction since March, when crews broke ground to convert a former faculty and staff lounge near the Student Union.

The Palomar College Office of Student Affairs has operated a food pantry for 34 years, providing weekly food distributions and longer-term support for students who need it, but the program outgrew its previous home. 

With the new space, the college now has refrigerators for distributing nutrient-rich produce and dairy, as well as a staging area to accept pallets of food.

“This represents all that’s good about our campus and our community,” said Sherry Titus, Director of Student Affairs at Palomar. “When you’re hungry, academic success is out of reach. We have students who need help, and we have the ability to mold and shape lives.”

For more information about the Anita and Stan Maag Food & Nutrition Center, please visit https://www2.palomar.edu/pages/studentaffairs/student-assistance/palomar-college-food-bank/.

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