Public 2-Year Schools

Essex: Shares the Harvest for Students


Essex County College Student Government Association members with food baskets for the Share the Harvest Thanksgiving project.

At a recent conference, members of Essex County College’s Student Government Association (SGA) brainstormed with their peers on ways to help those less fortunate. “We talked about sharing and helping families,” recalled Essex SGA President Esdras Malbranche.

The students then began formulating a plan and hit upon a good one. They then took their idea to College officials.

Following conversations between SGA members and Vice President for Administration & Finance Dr. Joyce Harley, the ambitious Sharing the Harvest program was developed in time for Thanksgiving and the results proved overwhelming.

The SGA members distributed more than 40 green or gold food bags to identified deserving students at both the Newark and West Essex campuses. Most of the bags contained either a turkey or chicken breast, while all of them had Thanksgiving fixings for a family of four.

“I was very excited about the project when our students suggested it,” said Dr. Harley. “People have always said Essex is like family and this was the perfect opportunity to prove it and they certain did.”

A general call went out to the College community for food donations. Numerous departments contributed multiple food bags while individual employees chipped in with various canned goods. Dessert was not forgotten as tins of cookies also made their way into the bags.

In addition, College Board of Trustees Chair Bibi Taylor and her husband, Lester, donated three full bags. The College’s insurance carrier IMAC Insurance Agency donated another eight full baskets.

“Our family was certainly glad to help out,” said Mrs. Taylor after dropping off the bags.

Acting President A. Zachary Yamba congratulated the SGA students on developing and following through on the project.

“This certainly exceeded my expectations,” said SGA Vice President Chioma Anaemejeh as she looked over a full table of food items compiled by College employees. “We wanted to do something for our fellow students and this is certainly something that will help our classmates.”