Opportunities that are not taken advantage of are opportunities wasted.  Especially during this time of need, it is important to seize any opportunities that you can get. It doesn’t matter if it’s sports, academics or needs in the house like food. In this case, it is the meals that we are able to afford on campus to buy the variety of food the University offers.There is much struggle during this time, and one way to help is to step up. This is done through a variety of actions like service in the community, working for an elderly person in need or making people more aware of situations that are important.

One of these situations is that many juniors and seniors choose not to have a meal plan during the years they move into apartments. Unfortunately, some of them do not budget their money correctly and struggle at times to afford groceries.  Even though all Villanova students are smart in their own way, these financial gaffes happen to all of us, as we often think we have more than we actually do.

The problem with this is that Villanova has stepped up to plug the hole of this need but many students, actually almost all of them, do not take advantage of this great opportunity. To me, opportunities are made to be taken advantage of, especially when the University is giving students an avenue to be better despite their mistakes.  

This program that students can take advantage of is the Wildcat Meal Share Program as an extension of the Nova Nook. The program has students that can sign up to donate their unused meals. Through these donations, accumulations of unused meals have piled to more than 200. Keep in mind that a student who requests to be a part of the program receives 10 meals per semester that go directly to their Wildcard.  However, only one student has benefitted from this program, and there are plenty of meals left to be taken advantage of.

For those who are not familiar with the Nova Nook, it is the service that runs the Wildcat Meal Share Program and is located in Dougherty Hall Room 217 with normal operating hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Its mission is to provide supplemental personal necessities to students who are in need. Its goal is to provide a safe space to distribute simple necessities that can be found in a dorm or apartment like toiletries or food items for students who struggle to manage these costs.  

The program can only succeed and be stocked with essentials through the generous donations of fellow Villanovans who care deeply about their community. Furthermore, the Nova Nook has laundry detergent and small donations that can be added to one’s NovaBucks account for campus laundry.

Services like these that Villanova offers should not be overlooked because all of these programs do great work that often goes unnoticed.  It is time that we do what we can to help out, not just in the Nova Nook, but in other organizations and services throughout our community that do amazing work as well.

This awareness is important because we have just celebrated Earth day this past week, which reinforces our commitment to keeping the places in which we live clean so that future generations can enjoy the beauty of nature for years to come. Earth Day keeps the planet healthy and prospering for our kids and grandkids to live in, so why not keep your fellow students healthy for finals and beyond?