As if balancing the stress of a heavy work load, keeping grades up, and tuition payments aren’t enough, many college students throughout America are starving.
“I would feel like I need to go back to momma and daddy and survive off them," said senior Lapria Junior, who will soon be a college freshman.
Universities are accepting more and more low-income students; yet the price of a higher education is steadily rising. According to the 2015 Census Bureau, the average total cost at public universities rose 10 percent over the past five years and 12 percent in private colleges. The average tuition for private colleges is approximately $45,370 a year.
A survey conducted by the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homeless revealed that 44 percent of college students ate less or skipped meals and 35 percent were hungry, but didn’t eat all due to a lack of funds.
However, there is a solution to the ever-growing problem of college hunger: food pantries.
“The availability of assistance makes me feel that better that there are other options,” senior Victoria Penn said.
The College & University Food Bank Alliance is a professional organization focused on alleviating food insecurity, hunger, and poverty among college and university students in the U.S. consisting of campus-based programs such as food pantries.
With Michigan State University being a co-founder of the organization, the program is mostly available in public universities and is funded through donations. The number of food pantries on college campuses has increased to 398 members.