Starving on Campus
College students are known for being broke, heavily in debt, and surviving off of instant ramen, but there is also an invisible population of students who have “food insecurity”—not having enough to eat on a daily basis. These students are often hidden because they feel ashamed about their circumstances. When you’re a college student with limited funds and fixed costs: tuition, housing, transportation—it’s often food that gets cut from the budget because of its flexibility.
The Washington Post reports that a growing number of food banks are popping up on college campuses to help address the problem.
As campuses look for solutions, the number of university food pantries has shot up, from four in 2008 to 121 today, according to the Michigan State University Student Food Bank, which has advised other campuses on starting them. Trinity Washington University in the District opened one in September, and the University of Maryland at College Park is looking into opening one.
In the fall, GMU started a voucher program, using donations from the campus food service and others, to provide food coupons to needy students. And this year, Feeding America, a national hunger-relief charity, will for the first time include in its quadrennial survey a breakdown of college students seeking food assistance.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons