No Student Hungry
As college campuses throughout the country move to virtual classrooms, the fact remains that there are students at college that will remain in their university town. Perhaps they are unable to work or perhaps their finances are strained. No matter the reason, there are resources available both on and off-campus for food pantries. While they are currently limiting how many people can access the pantry, many are remaining open. If the university does not have an on-campus food bank, they certainly have community food banks.
Much like the national campaign No Kid Hungry®, there are many students at colleges throughout the United States that are barely getting by, some putting their nourishment behind paying for college and all of the expenses that go along with college; tuition, books, rent, utilities, to name a few. The USDA average monthly cost of food for a college-age student for a moderate-cost plan, following the recommended Food plans, is $223.55.
According to Education Data, in 2018:
- Nearly 25% of high school students considered middle class indicated they were not planning to attend college because of the expense
- In 2018, an average of 45% of students experienced frequent food insecurity
- Over 50% of students from 2-year institutions and 44% of 4-year students worried about running out of food
- Nearly 50% of students could not afford balanced meals
Many students who are struggling just to keep up with the cost of college even while working and getting loans, often feel uncomfortable saying anything about struggling to maintain a balanced diet. As a college student who relied on school loans, I would often make light of this, kidding around and saying my meals consisted of ramen noodles.
But knowing the importance a healthy diet plays on one’s health, sleep patterns, stress, capacity to think and be strong mentally and physically, it is not a joking manner. And students should not have to make a choice between buying textbooks and buying groceries. Fortunately, many campuses today recognize this problem and have addressed it by having Food Pantries. At most universities, it is referred to as food insecurity; basically, referring to students not having access to nutritious food on a regular basis.
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