Gloucester County Police Academy recruits from Basic Class 55 and SLEO II Class 32 caught the spirit of Thanksgiving, collecting more than 3,100 food items over the course of four weeks to help Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) students in need.
On Monday, Nov. 25, recruits gathered in the Police Academy lobby surrounded by stacks of bottled water and “grab and go" meals to donate to the College's Gloucester campus food pantry. Roadrunner's Refuel, an on-campus pantry created to fight food insufficiency, opened its doors in 2017 with the mission that no student would have to go to class hungry. The academy places a strong focus on addressing community-oriented needs. Each of the recruit classes are motivated to participate in numerous philanthropic activities.
“In one small way, this food drive is what law enforcement is all about. It's about giving to the community you serve," said SLEO Class 32 recruit Daniel Moody, of the Bellmawr Police Department.
Fellow SLEO Class 32 recruit Justin Inman, of the Washington Township Police Department, echoed his sentiment: “It came effortlessly. Law enforcement is about serving. It's what we will do once we graduate. All of us were college students and understand where other students are coming from."
Basic Class 55 recruit Stephen Bruno, of the Cherry Hill Police Department was also excited for the opportunity to assist his fellow students: “This was a good opportunity to spread our character and selflessness to the community of RCSJ, and provide comfort and stability to the college students."
“We are a family. One team. One unit," summed up Basic Class 55 recruit Ashley Pledger, of the Cherry Hill Police Department. “We want to continue to make a difference in law enforcement."
Sponsored by RCSJ's Gloucester campus chapter of the American Association for Women in Community Colleges, the pantry provides supplemental food to eligible students who are in need of assistance. Free and confidential, Roadrunner's Refuel provides hungry students with meals that can be easily consumed on campus so that they can concentrate on their education.
The Gloucester County Police Academy operates as an autonomous unit within RCSJ's Division of Law and Justice. For more information about the Gloucester County Police Academy, visit RCSJ.edu/PoliceAcademy.
Rowan College of South Jersey's Gloucester campus is located at 1400 Tanyard Road in Deptford, just off Exit 56 of Route 55.