CLOSING THE CAMPUS HUNGER GAP – FEBRUARY 24
Author: Kate Anderson
For local college student Jayde, the posters advertising a Second Harvest Mobile Market free food distribution on campus were a welcome sight.
“My roommate moved out, so I’m handling rent on my own, which means my budget for food is way down,” he shared while picking up staples at the event. “So anything like this really helps, and it looks to be good, natural stuff which is a lot better than just Kraft mac and cheese and ramen every day.”
As costs for higher education and basic necessities continue to rise, more college students are facing hunger. But partnerships between Second Harvest and local universities are helping students work toward brighter futures.
Mobile Markets like the one Jayde visited enable students to choose nutritious foods and fresh produce that would otherwise be unaffordable.
“An 18-pack of eggs went from like $2 to $5,” Jayde shared. “It makes a big difference, especially when your budget is already small.”
During his visit to a campus Mobile Market, Michael told us that the rising cost of books sometimes makes it tough for him to buy groceries. Like many people struggling to make ends meet, he’s tried going without enough food.
“Food just feels like something, even though you shouldn’t, it feels like something you can kinda shave off (your budget),” he explained. “If I’m cheap with the food, it doesn’t feel like a big deal. Then when you kind of get hungry, it might be.”
Although this was Michael’s first time attending a Mobile Market, he has utilized the campus food pantry in the past. Being able to easily access healthy foods, free of charge, has allowed him to focus on his studies instead of worrying if he would go hungry.
“Thank you so much,” Michael shared before leaving the Mobile Market. “You’re doing great work, and I couldn’t be happier.”
Before heading back to class, Jayde also expressed his gratitude to the Mobile Market volunteers and supporters.
“Thank you for looking out for us. And even if you don’t know all of our faces and can’t see all of us personally, just know that it helps a lot. And at the end of the day, it means the world to us. So thank you.”