OPINION: QC Jewish Students Demand Food Equity

QUEENS COLLEGE–According to data from Hillel International, there are over 4,000 Jewish students at Queens College, making up 25% of the student body, which is the seventh largest Jewish population among public colleges. For generations, QC has been known as a place with a strong and engaged Jewish community where it is easy to be a Jewish college student. Over the past five years, that reputation has diminished following the closure of the Dairy Stop, the kosher food storefront on campus, without an adequate replacement. 

Since then, kosher food options on campus have been grab-and-go, poor quality, high cost and inconsistently available. Moreover, the closing of the Dairy Stop has deprived the Jewish community of an important social center. Dairy Stop was legendary for fostering a unique sense of community among Jews at Queens College. Even Jews of other CUNYs would travel to hang out at Dairy Stop. My father, who attended Brooklyn College, remembers many Jewish students, himself included, traveling to QC to socialize at Dairy Stop. As QC alum Taylor Kornstein (18’) told The Knight News in 2016, “The Dairy Stop was more than just a food option, but a community.” Since its closure, the QC Jewish community, and the CUNY Jewish community as a whole, has been weakened by a lack of a kosher space at QC. 

Since the closing of the Dairy Stop, there have been several attempts to bring better kosher options to campus, none of which provided the consistent quality, and affordable fare that is needed. One attempt to address this gap was made this fall by junior Maayan Sandowski.