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More than 300 Palomar College students receive free computers and food


Last updated 3/26/2020 at 1:37pm

Palomar students are lined up to receive donations of free computers and food.

SAN MARCOS – Students lined up in their cars and on foot to pick up their free computer from Palomar College during a limited-contact distribution Wednesday, March 18. In all, 344 students received computers that will help them take online courses as the college transitions to remote delivery of courses starting Monday, March 30.

This opportunity for Palomar's students was enabled by a leadership gift from Darlene Shiley, in partnership with the nonprofit Computers2Kids in San Diego.

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," Jack Kahn, Ph.D., acting superintendent and president of Palomar College, said. "Even in the midst of a global health crisis, the Palomar community is pulling together to meet the needs of our students."

"It was truly humbling and heartwarming to witness this display of generosity and solidarity during such challenging times for our students, staff and community," Stacy Rungaitis, executive director for the Palomar College Foundation, said. "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."

College staff and volunteers from the Anita and Stan Maag Food and 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.

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 at

Submitted by Palomar College.


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