You’re starving. You have no idea where your next meal will come from. It’s not that you can’t afford your next meal – it’s just that you actually don’t know where to buy food.
As the semester begins, many Temple students will find themselves in this situation. Those who have moved into apartments, either by choice or by necessity, might find that unless they get a meal plan through Temple Dining Services, they will have no one to cook them meals.
But there’s hope. There are six places that sell groceries – including one supermarket – within a 10 minute walk of Main Campus. There are also at least five supermarkets that can be easily reached either by the Broad Street Line subway or by Temple’s free shuttles.
For the truly emaciated among us, those so confused and drained by hunger that they don’t have the stamina to cook, there’s Rite Aid. Although the most substantial foods that Rite Aid sells are Campbell’s soup and TV dinners, it can be a good place to pick up the bare necessities to fend off starvation.
There are two Rite Aids located near Main Campus – one at the corner of Broad and Oxford streets on the south end of campus, and the other at the corner of Broad Street and Susquehanna Avenue on the north end of campus.
Proximity has its price, and Rite Aid can be a little on the expensive side. Most of the TV dinners cost close to $4, and all of the boxes of cereal, except those made by Malt-O-Meal, are more than $4. The milk is reasonably priced, but other foods, except for those on sale, cost a bit more than they would at a supermarket.
When TV dinners, chips and cereal won’t do, there’s a 7-Eleven on Liacouras Walk, as well as one on the corner of 15th Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue. While 7-Eleven also doesn’t have a huge selection of groceries, it does sell prepackaged cheese and lunchmeat, and it has a very small produce selection. Their selection of cereals, soups and Ramen noodles, however, pales in comparison to Rite Aid’s selection, and they have no TV dinners.
The Food Way near the corner of Carlisle Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue has about the same selection as Rite Aid: chips, canned soups and Ramen. But it is also about as expensive as Rite Aid.
“The Food Way is a good convenience store because it has a lot of the things that you might need if you can’t get to a grocery store right away,” said senior Aarti Patel. “They are, however, overpriced with many of their items because they know that there are no nearby grocery stores.”
If you are not content to die early from eating too many Cup-o-noodles and TV dinners, there is a full-sized supermarket about 10 minutes from campus.
Cousin’s, located at Fifth and Berks streets, is the closest supermarket to Main Campus, at least until the Fresh Grocer opens in Progress Plaza. Apples cost less than a dollar a pound, a 5-pound bag of potatoes costs around $2 and a 50-pound bag of Cousin’s brand rice costs only $14 (that’s enough rice, at one-fourth dry cup per serving, for about 500 bowls of rice).
Cousin’s also has good prices on milk, meat and products by Hispanic specialty brands like Goya and La Costeña. Other brand name items, however, cost just about as much as they would at any other supermarket.
“Cousins rocks,” said senior Matt Fenty. “As a grocery store they’re alright, but because of the location and the free delivery, they’re excellent.”
Supermarkets that are easily accessible from campus via the Broad Street Line include the Super Fresh and the Whole Foods, both at 10th and South streets, just four blocks from the Lombard-South stop. There is also a Pathmark near the corner of Broad Street and Glenwood Avenue, about a block and a half from the North Philadelphia stop.
Supermarkets accessible via the free Temple shuttles include Trader Joe’s at 2121 Market St., which is seven blocks from the 15th and Market streets stop on the Temple University Center City shuttle and the Whole Foods at 20th and Callowhill streets, just a few blocks from the 20th and Spring Garden streets stop on the Franklin House shuttle.
Daniel J. Kristie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org