Broward College Serves Students in More Ways Than One

People receiving donated food

You may have noticed a line of cars leading to tents on the campus of Broward College. The now-familiar set-up brings to mind a COVID-19 testing site. This drive-through was no COVID testing site, however. The cars contained Broward College students waiting to pick up a bag of food for the week. 

According to a recent survey, up to 61 percent of Broward College students are “food insecure,” meaning they do not have reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Many of the students have no or low income and enrolled in the school as a pathway out of poverty. Fortunately for them, the Student Success Team is looking out for them.

Broward College has partnered with Lifenet 4 Families to help feed students in need. They provide a week’s worth of food to 120 students each week using a drive-through. The program was originally envisioned as an on-campus food pantry for students could pick up much-needed staples, no questions asked. Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions put those plans on the back burner, at the same time that the need skyrocketed.

“This program has been an evolution. The initial goal was to establish a pantry,” said Assitant Esmeralda Sweeney, Broward College’s Associate Vice President, Student Success, “Now, we see even more dier need. Our students have been hit really hard.”

Demand for the donations has been incredibly strong. The program was oversubscribed within 24 hours of its launch on September 25th. Homeless students were given a priority. Broward College serves about 50,000 students at its three campuses in Coconut Creek, Davie and Pembroke Pines. The school’s student has a diverse student body. More than half are first-generation Americans while many come from low-income families. 

Each bag typically contains two pounds of rice, two cans of tomato sauce, two boxes of macaroni and cheese, split peas, mayonnaise, two cans of chicken noodle soup, two cans of tuna, pasta, two cans of green beans, oatmeal, juice, and milk. Sometimes additional items are added such as peanut butter, oil, or applesauce. 

Studies have shown that students with access to quality, nutritious food are more likely to graduate. 

You can help support the Broward College Drive-through Food Program by donating to LifeNet4Families at