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New limitations to Mario’s Market | The Triangle

New limitations to Mario’s Market

Photo by Olivia Maddox | The Triangle

Mario’s Market, Drexel University’s community food pantry, is a resource to combat food insecurity among college students in the Philadelphia area, and has been open for just over three years. The Market recently altered their rules for those accessing the variety of products that are offered.  

The pantry is managed by Drexel’s Student Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Located on the second floor of the Rush Building at 30 N 33rd Street, it is open to students, faculty and staff. Individuals can enter by swiping their DragonCard and are able to select items free of charge in order to maintain and respect individual privacy.

The new rules, which went into effect at the beginning of the winter term for the 2023-24 academic year, state that students can visit the pantry up to twice a week and can take up to 10 items at a time. Prior to this academic quarter, there was no limit to the number of times per week that individuals could access the Market or to the number of items they could take.

“We received feedback from students that there were times when there were limited supplies available in the market,” said Jen Tifone, director of the Student Organization Resource Center. “These new parameters around shopping are being piloted to create a more equitable distribution of food.”

According to Tifone, the number of students utilizing Mario’s Market weekly has not changed since the rules went into effect, and students have reported that the new parameters have created a wider selection of available items in the pantry.

“We have continued to adjust our practices to support the changing needs of students,” said Jennifer Thorndike-Gonzales, associate director of SCDI. “Examples of other changes we’ve made include staffing, hours of access, and types of food available to students. We are always looking for feedback and suggestions in order to serve the students better.”

Mario’s Market can be accessed anytime during the Rush Building’s hours of operation. Currently, the building is open from 2:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. These hours are subject to change due to staff availability.

“The goal of Mario’s Market is to distribute food to students in need,” said Thorndike-Gonzales. “We hope the new shopping parameters will enable more students to access the pantry and share the resources available through the Market.”