The Biggest Problem College Students Face These Days: Having Enough Food to Eat

The Biggest Problem College Students Face These Days: Having Enough Food to Eat
  • Opening Intro -

    While watching some late night political talk show the other day, I learned that a surprisingly large percentage of college students have to worry about food.

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For someone who has never been to college, lived in a dorm and forced to fend for himself for four years, it seems weird that college would be the one place where people go without food. Unfortunately, it is true. Most college students have had to live on ramen noodles and cheap soda whilst others have had to learn the art of dumpster diving.

Don’t believe the hype about campus life

Forget what you see in the movies and TV shows, college is not as glamorous as it is portrayed to be. College kids don’t spend days eating nice canteen food, or ordering stacks of pizzas or drinking kegs of beer. Yes, they party, but partying only lasts for a couple of hours, the rest of the time real life happens. You need money for a lot of things and there isn’t a lot of that going around.

Food insecurity is a real issue

According to recent studies, between 14 and 60 percent of college students will experience food insecurity during their time in college. While we grapple with the statistics about how 40 million college students are in debt and the trillions of dollars owed by graduates, we gloss over the struggles that college kids have to deal with on a daily basis.

Statistics also shows that 30% of college loan recipients drop out. Most of them don’t drop out because they can’t handle the workload but because college turns into a battleground where you are not only battling to get the best education but to have the food and basic things to survive.

Food insecurity is a polarizing issue. It brings class dynamics into play as well social layers that should not be there in a learning environment. Food insecurity is alienating, but there are students who are developing novel ways to ensure that a student gets the three square meals he or she needs every day and sharing them with others.

Are educational institutions doing anything?

Mastering paying for tuition, paying for a roof over your head, putting clothes on your back, having the books you need and eating can be a difficult juggling act and financial aid or scholarships that are available cannot cover everything there is. Even the most affluent institutions in the country have students who have food insecurities. Take Columbia for instance; even with its multi-billion endowment and financial aid, there are still students who go without. Unfortunately, even with compelling research and evidence, institutions still leave the issue to the students themselves to deal with. In other colleges, students have taken it upon themselves to set up food banks and meal sharing programs on campus.

The bottom line is that: society cannot fault college kids for wanting an education to better their lives and the lives of those around them, but they can do something to help them by donating to college food banks and lobbying government and institutions to take the issue seriously.

College Living reference:

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Categories: Student Health