Winning the “Souper Bowl” for Bergen Cares Center

PARAMUS, N.J – While the Kansas City Chiefs may have lifted the Lombardi Trophy in Las Vegas, Bergen Community College hosted its own “Souper Bowl” to provide hot meals for those in need.

The project, organized by Executive Assistant to the Board of Trustees and the President Maria Ferrara, collected more than 1,000 cans of soup for the on-campus Bergen Cares Center. Many of the cans came from the College’s nursing department, led by Associate Dean of Nursing Darlene Zales-Russamano and students such as Natalia Pelaez, Michael Murphy and Gengollari Desantila (pictured). The department even sponsored a contest to encourage donations. The cans, delivered to the Cares Center during the week of February 12, will support students using the College’s pantry. The Cares Center offers students holistic support through resources such as a clothing closet, transportation assistance and referrals to social service agencies. The center represents a key effort in the College’s commitment to supporting student wellness and keeping them enrolled so they can earn a college degree.

Based in Paramus, Bergen Community College (, a public two-year coeducational college, enrolls more than 13,000 students at locations in Paramus, the Philip Ciarco Jr. Learning Center in Hackensack and Bergen Community College at the Meadowlands in Lyndhurst. The College offers associate degree, certificate and continuing education programs in a variety of fields. More students graduate from Bergen than any other community college in the state.

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