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 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 of 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.
Knights Food Pantry
At UCF, they have the Knights Pantry. The Pantry offers food, clothing, and personal hygiene items. The only proof a student needs is their current UCF ID. They do limit students to five food items per day but there is no limit for toiletries or clothing. They are located in Ferrell Commons attached to the All Knight Study facility. They are open Monday through Friday from 10 am – 5 pm.
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. And, if you are more fortunate than others, the Knights Pantry accepts donations, both monetary and food, toiletries, or business professional/casual clothing. You can even volunteer at the Pantry, or sponsor a food drive.
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