By Alyssa DeLio
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – On Oct. 18, I asked 100 students at the Camden County Cougar Café how satisfied they were with the café’s food and their reasoning behind their answers. I gave each student three categories to rate the food under: Above Satisfactory, Satisfactory, and Below Satisfactory. Of these categories, 45 students said the food was Satisfactory, while 32 said it was Below Satisfactory, and 23 described it as Above Satisfactory. Most students who tallied under Below Satisfactory or Satisfactory were unhappy with the price of school foods compared to the quality of them.

Students recently gave the food at the Cougar Café a range of ratings. From Cougar Café CCC Facebook page

Tyler Gordon, 21, a sophomore at Camden County College, rated the food Satisfactory.
When asked why, he responded, “The food is alright, I don’t really have many complaints on the quality, but if you rely on the cafeteria every day and you don’t have financial aid covering your meals, it can really burn a hole in your pocket.”

When asking freshman Bianca Salurso, 18, she categorized the school’s food under Above Satisfactory. Her response to reasoning included, “I don’t really have any complaints about it to put it under ‘Satisfactory’ or ‘Below Satisfactory’. Compared to Triton’s school lunches, Camden County’s is like striking gold.” When asked if she had financial aid or any other funding to support her meals, she answered “yes”.

Another student who chose Above Satisfactory was sophomore Brenda Pallaro, 20, saying, “There is nothing wrong with the food here. Everything I’ve bought here so far has been fresh.” When asked if she buys food here often, she replied, “A few times a week, but I get coffee from the cafeteria almost every day.”

Thomas Gallagher, 18, a first-year student, described the food as Below Satisfactory and said, “If I am paying close to $8 for a bagel with cream cheese and jelly it better be imported from another country.”

Kelly Griffin, 19, a second-year student, also rated the food Below Satisfactory and said, “I never really go to the café a lot. I usually only go to pick up a Snapple or some chips in between classes. Truthfully, you could stop at Dunkin’ Donuts instead and get the same, or better, quality of food for a lesser price.”

The poll results I collected showed a variety of answers, from different ages to different graduating classes. Although every interviewed student had something unique to say, most did not have large complaints over the quality of school lunches presented at Camden County College, other than the prices.

The Camden County Cougar Café is located on the second floor of the Community Center, open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. On Fridays it is open from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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