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Palomar College hands out 344 free computers as classes move online

SAN MARCOS (CNS) - As campus is shuttered and classes prepare to move online, Palomar College gave 344 students a computer and food to help during the quarantine, it announced on Thursday.

The college is transitioning to online classes starting March 30, but hundreds of students drove up or walked on Wednesday to receive a laptop donated by the college, Darlene Shiley and nonprofit Computers2Kids.

According to college staff, so many cars lined up to get into the distribution point in the front parking lots of the college, that at one point, traffic backed up on West Mission Avenue. Even the Computers2Kids truck had difficulty getting to the college due to the number of students taking advantage of the computer giveaway.

"Our heartfelt thanks to Darlene Shiley and all of the staff who made it possible to provide this extraordinary student support,'' said Acting Superintendent/President Jack Kahn. "Even in the midst of a global health crisis, the Palomar community is pulling together to meet the needs of our students.''

College staff and volunteers from the Anita and Stan Maag Food & Nutrition Center were also on hand, distributing free food to students in need of nutritional assistance. The center has been serving students continuously as the COVID-19 outbreak developed while observing the protocols of social distancing.

"It was truly humbling and heartwarming to witness this display of generosity and solidarity during such challenging times for our students, staff and community,'' said Stacy Rungaitis, executive director for the Palomar College Foundation. "We owe special gratitude to Darlene Shiley for making it possible to put these computers into the hands of students who are really going to need them to continue their education.''

The donation of emergency funding for student computers also established the Darlene Shiley Challenge Emergency Fund Campaign, administered by the Palomar College Foundation. Those who wish to participate in the challenge in support of Palomar's students can find information on the Palomar College Foundation website,


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