You may have heard of the "Freshman 15," the idea that students who head off to college are bound to gain some weight in their first year. Some students, however, are not sure they can afford their next meal.
More universities and colleges should open food banks for students, concluded an editorial published recently in The Pitt News, the University of Pittsburgh's student-run newspaper. The editorial highlights an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education reporting that increasing numbers of students, burdened with debt, are turning to campus food banks for their next meal. The Pitt News writes:
In a survey done at the City University of New York, cited in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, researchers said that in 2010 39 percent of CUNY students reported either going hungry because of a lack of money, skipping meals to save money or not being able to afford nutritious meals. However, only about 7 percent of these students reported using city food banks and even fewer received food stamps.
In addition to recommending more colleges and universities open student food bank, The Pitt News also suggests a reduced priced meal plan for Pitt students who are struggling.
At the University of Pittsburgh, my Alma mater (Hail Pitt!), meal plans can cost close to $3,000. A poor undergraduate (which I was) would probably want the cheapest meal plan, which comes with the least amount of campus dining dollars.
So, what happens when the dining dollars are all used? Hopefully, nothing severe, but I can tell you some students are making unwise decisions based on their financial limitations.