EDITORIAL: Battling food insecurity on our campus

SGA's initiative to create a food pantry on campus will help all students


The produce room in the Greater Lansing Food Bank warehouse on Oct. 5 at 2116 Mint Rd, Lansing, Michigan.

Food insecurity — the lack of reliable access to consistent and sufficient amounts of nutritious food — is much more common on college campuses than one might think.

In a survey of 3,765 college students across the country, 48 percent reported food insecurity in the last 30 days, according to studentsagainthunger.org. Of those, 22 percent reported very low food levels that qualified them as hungry.

College students have to pay for a lot. Tuition, textbooks, school supplies, housing, transportation — sometimes being able to afford nutritious food is a real challenge for students. Higher tuition, the implementation of a $225 semester fee and other rising costs puts this generation in a unique position of having money to attend school, but having fewer dollars to live on while they’re here. Their food insecurity could interfere with their education.

Fifty five percent of students surveyed reported that food insecurity issues caused them to not buy a required textbook, 53 percent reported missing a class and 25 percent reported dropping a class.

Food insecurity is a real problem facing college students that cannot be ignored. Here at Central Michigan University, our Student Government Association is taking a huge step towards battling food insecurity by opening a food pantry.

A food pantry for students will be ready to distribute food sometime in November. It will be run by Dexter graduate student Kourtney Koch and other students. The pantry will distribute food twice a month and all currently enrolled students are eligible to receive food. It will be located in a previously unused space in North Campus near the Robinson Testing Center, which is on the lower level of the building beneath the Robinson Residential Restaurant.

The only requirement to access the food pantry is to be a CMU student. That means hopefully, no CMU student will have to worry about food insecurity.

SGA passed a resolution supporting the pantry during a meeting on Feb. 5. 

We commend both SGA and Facilities Management for collaborating to create this essential asset to our campus. Students are at CMU to earn an education and better themselves. They shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to afford food.

Thank you for helping to fight food insecurity on our campus and ensure CMU students do not go hungry.