Feeding America’s Report Shows Hunger Crisis Among College Students

We have all heard the jokes about college students living on a Ramen noodle diet, but the reality is that there really is a food crisis that is staggeringly prevalent on our colleges. Feeding America recently released the results of its 2014 Hunger in America report and the results are shocking and concerning.

Nearly 10% of the 46.5 million clients that attend the food banks provided by Feeding America are reported to be students and nearly 2 million of those people are said to be full time students. What this means in that 1 in 10 students is going hungry. 31% of those students that were surveyed stated that they were often left with a choice to either pay for food or cover their education expenses.

These statistics are alarming and students have few resources at their disposal to help. These numbers clearly show that there is a serious lack of food security among students and this is becoming even more prevalent with the rising enrollment rates of lower income students. Going to college was once deemed a stepping stone to get away from poverty and hunger, but now these issues are following students, and the cycle is being perpetuated.

Students are forced to go to food pantries or remain hungry in most cases as food pantries are not easily accessible at all times. Government assistance in the form of food stamps or WIC is not accepted on college campuses either, which is due to the limitations placed on purchasing prepared foods.

Some schools are taking the results of the Feeding America survey seriously and are trying to find new options for students.

Some schools are catching on to the food crisis and are trying to open food pantries for students that have healthy options, although this process is slow going at this point. The biggest challenge with these pantries is the sustainability. It’s easy to get companies and volunteers to jump on board at the onset of a major project like this, but keeping things moving forward and stable is most often an issue that will lead to failure.

Guillermo, E. (2014, September 15). Hungry Students? Food Insecurity on Campus Far Worse Than You Think. Retrieved September 22, 2014, from http://diverseeducation.com/article/66887/
Resnikoff, N. (2014, August 18). The hunger crisis in America’s universities. Retrieved September 22, 2014, from http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/the-hunger-crisis-americas-universities

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