CSU Student Food Insecurity

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CSU Student Food Insecurity

Unlike high school students, college students don't get as much education and support regarding things like healthy diets.

Unlike high school students, college students don't get as much education and support regarding things like healthy diets.

Unlike high school students, college students don't get as much education and support regarding things like healthy diets.

Unlike high school students, college students don't get as much education and support regarding things like healthy diets.

Payton Perkins, Staff Writer

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Every student at Rocky has heard the joke–when you go to college, “all you’ll eat is ramen.” Few people really know how true that that “joke” is. Food insecurity and unhealthy eating are incredibly prevalent in colleges across America.

 

Food insecurity is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture as anywhere from “anxiety over food shortages . . .” to “disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.” This means that a person experiencing food insecurity can range from someone worrying significantly about not having enough food, all the way to rationing and skipping meals. Just over 50% of students at 4-year universities suffer from food insecurity, according to the ASCSU.

 

Vitamin deficiencies and unhealthy eating habits also affect college students because it is simply more cost effective to buy fast food, and cooking fresh food takes time and skills that some students don’t possess. For example, the average Happy Meal is about $2-$4, which can buy about 3-4 fruits or vegetables. A Happy Meal has protein and is much more filling and less time consuming, but isn’t healthy.

 

To help CSU combat this issue, Rocky’s National Honors Society did a canned food drive at Friday night’s basketball game against Poudre.

 

“Specifically what it is, is we were just trying to set up an event to just bring in some more food,” NHS member Katherine DeMaret said. “The statistic is that 52% of CSU students were struggling with food insecurity, and I mean that’s gonna be us in a couple years, going to college and trying to make ends meet. So, it was just really important to make sure we could–at least–get some non-perishable foods in that would be easy for college students to prepare.”

 

This food drive was specifically to donate to the ASCSU pocket pantries, which have four locations around campus for students to utilize. They offer free food and snacks and run primarily on donations.

 

Along with the ASCSU pocket pantries, Food Bank of Larimer County provides a monthly food bank to all students and staff, federally provided food stamps, and the meal swipe program–giving all students who meet certain requirements 75 free meals.

 

Student donations are easy to do. If any student wants to donate, they can drop off non-perishable foods to a willing NHS member or to Mr. Mierzwa or Mr. DeMaret. They can also contact the ASCSU  here to learn more and organize a time to come in and drop off donations.