No Student Hungry
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 food 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 groceries on a regular basis.
At FAU, they have the Beyond Food Program. The Program offers non-perishable food. Students(and faculty and staff) may refer another student by using their FAU Net ID and password to log in to the Owl Central website and then they may complete the referral form. That student will be contacted within 2 business days to schedule a time to meet with a team member from Beyond Food. Students in need of emergency food assistance may visit University Village Apartments (UVA) and speak with a front desk staff member. A single one-day emergency supply will be available with information on nearby Boca Helping Hands.
If you know of a student that needs this resource, you should absolutely share this information. They are very discreet about respecting the privacy of those that are in need, whether temporarily or long-term. They will typically receive a three-day food assistance pack which they can get one time per month. Students also have the option to go to Boca Helping Hands, located two miles from FAU’s Boca Raton Campus. The Boca Helping Hands (BHH) hot lunch program is offered Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and family dinner on Thursdays, 4:30 – 6 p.m. They do need to register and it is closed all Sundays, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Day after Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day.
And, if you are more fortunate than others, the Beyond Food Program accepts donations, both monetary and food.