Bowie State University is supporting students outside of the classroom with a new nutrition lounge. Get the full story from the BSU release below.

Sometimes despite your best intentions, things don’t go the way you planned. You didn’t put gas in the car yesterday and now the lines are a mile long. Today your daughter decides to dawdle on the way to daycare. You spend precious morning minutes looking for eyeglasses that were perched on your head — again.

You get to campus, rush through a couple classes and are soon embarrassed by the symphony of grumbles coming from your not-yet-full stomach. And, of course, it’s the day before payday and you have neither the time nor the money to buy lunch.

Catastrophe averted.

Go to the BSU Nutrition Lounge to grab up to three free items, including food, beverages and personal items. After all, that’s the reason the lounge is there — to help those on campus in a pinch. From an emergency replacement lunch for busy commuters, to athletes seeking an energy boost before practice, to residential students who need extra pantry staples for weekend or late night snacks, the lounge provides a ready supply of nutritious items.  Located on the ground floor of the Thurgood Marshall Library, the lounge and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students, staff and faculty are welcome.

Local Church Contributes Fresh Fruit to Healthy Options

Recently Zion Church of Landover, Md. partnered with the Nutrition Lounge to provide fresh fruits and personal care items. The lounge had not carried fruit in the past and it was gone in just a few days, illustrating the demand. More fruit is delivered each Monday by the church.

The doors of the BSU Nutrition Lounge opened in February 2020 to address food insecurity on campus. Bowie State partnered with Food Lion and Capital Area Food Bank to ensure the lounge is stocked regularly and abides by strict food safety standards. In its first year, more than 1,200 visitors came through its doors. While they use a tracker to gather statistics on usage, visitation is confidential. While Food Lion is a major monetary donor of the lounge, individuals and local organizations donate money, personal care, and pantry goods to the lounge. Donated money is used to purchase groceries and other items needed to run the Nutrition Lounge efficiently. You too, can donate.

According to Tosin Fashanu, an account specialist and administrative assistant in the Wellness Center, which oversees the Nutrition Lounge, the lounge got a boost following the COVID-19 shutdown with a 5K race sponsored by the athletic department in August 2021 to draw attention to food insecurity. Later in the fall semester, a second 5K walk and campus wellness program spotlighted the need for healthy eating.

In light of recent world events, which have caused price increases in gasoline and food, Tosin suspects there will be a greater need for the Nutrition Lounge. She notes there are plenty of pantry goods such as pasta, pasta sauce, rice, lentils and canned foods that are available for the campus community.