Broward College Marketplace provides for students with necessities

Ryan Marin


At this time, many students may be struggling to pay for their basic food and hygiene needs. Sixty-one percent of Broward College students are suffering from some form of food insecurity, according to Gregory Adam Haile, President of Broward College, as said in a video on the BC website.

Figuring out how to eat every day is sure to weigh heavy on the minds of students and can dramatically impact their grades and education. Broward College understands the needs of their students and created the Seahawk Marketplace to try and help alleviate this struggle.

The mission of the Seahawk Marketplace is to assist Broward College students by alleviating the daily financial stress of planning how they will purchase necessary food and hygiene items. The pantry is the College’s latest effort to address food security among its students.

The Marketplace is a significant expansion of the food and hygiene program that Broward College ran during all of 2021. The Marketplace provides a free pantry where students can shop for free food and hygiene items for themselves and household family members. 

“The Marketplace is a family friendly atmosphere where students can shop once a week,” said Dana Bartholomew, Food Security Coordinator at Broward College.  The program also offers guidance for nutrition through educational programs, where students learn about the value of nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices.

Any current Broward College student, as well as students enrolled in the previous semester, can qualify for access to the Seahawk Marketplace. Students can also access the drive thru distributions and comfort closets on North and South Campus. 

Bartholomew explains that students do not need an appointment to enter the Seahawk Marketplace, and they can drop by anytime, once a week. 

“Students can stop by anytime, but they need to register at and fill out a one-time registration.” The form asks for the student ’s identification, demographic and fellow household members. To register, students must also have their student ID number. The Marketplace also recommends that students bring their own reusable bags when shopping.

The Marketplace gets six deliveries a month from Feeding South Florida. The items come from stores such as Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart and Publix. 

“While we never know what exactly are in these deliveries until they get here, they are usually full of fresh fruit and veggies, an array of meats, and perishable and nonperishable can items,” Bartholomew said.

The Marketplace provides free perishable and nonperishable items through a partnership with Florida Blue Foundation, Feeding South Florida and Holy Cross Health. 

The Marketplace operates at Central Campus, building 19, room 128 and is open Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and every second  and fourthSaturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Students can also attend the Mobile Food and Hygiene Essentials Distributions, which are held on North Campus from 4-6 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month, and from 2-4 p.m. on South Campus on the third Wednesday of the month.

The program also welcomes staff and volunteers with open arms. Volunteers guide students to receive the food and hygiene items they need. The program is also asking for donations, as Bartholomew said the stock is replenished weekly through donations from staff and students. Students staff can donate new unwrapped hygiene items and nonperishable items to the Marketplace.

While the Marketplace is currently only on Central Campus, there are plans to expand to North and South Campus in the coming months. 

“This is the first pantry to open in a series of three pantries that will open at each campus,” Bartholomew said. 

If you want to find out more, visit the Seahawk Marketplace tab under the Student Outreach Services, email, or call 954-201-3663. 

BC President Gregory Haile with former Observer Editor-in-chief, Jessica Kladerman, at the ribbon-cutting of the Seahawk Marketplace in September, 2021.