End the stigma surrounding food insecurity with college students

We as college students have enough on our plate to worry about, and food should be one of the last things we have to stress over.

Between going to classes all day, working on the weekends, and staying up late cramming in last minute study sessions, students can sometimes forget to grab a bite to eat. 

Food insecurity is no doubt an issue students around the world face, but as a college kid not having healthy food in our possession or strictly ingesting ramen noodles every day is far from nutritious. 

College students should never have to worry about where their next meal is coming from when surrounded by so many resources throughout the campus.

We as students can feel embarrassed or out of place when thinking about going to a food pantry. Thinking that if we can afford to go to college, then we should be able to pay for quality groceries. 

The stigma that students shouldn’t take advantage of these opportunities when in need is ridiculous, not to mention how expensive fresh food is in today’s world.

However, there are resources on campus that are decreasing the stigma around food insecurity. 

Just in the past year Minnesota State University, Mankato is equipped with a full running Maverick Food Pantry, located in the Carkoski Commons, that encourages students to not shy away from asking for a little extra help.

This resource is available to all MNSU students as they offer perishable and non-perishable goods such as eggs, vegetables, bread, fruit and canned foods.

Having places such as these that students can go to is a great asset to the university.

Swipe Out Hunger is another solution to combat the problem of student food insecurity that MNSU has brought to light.

How it works is that students are able to donate one or more of their meal swipes at the University Dining Center which will be transferred to a student in need of one. 

That student then is able to redeem that meal swipe assigned to them and get whatever they desire from the dining hall.

The program is planning on donating five meals a week throughout the school year to students in hopes to help those who are struggling to get enough food.

Food insecurity is an issue that isn’t talked about as much as it should be. Although it can be uncomfortable to discuss, it is extremely difficult to study or pay attention in class with a rumbling stomach begging you to eat.

Understanding that we as students also have real life issues about something as simple as finding healthy foods to eat is important to highlight and talk about.

Whether you are a student who is struggling with finding food or wanting to have a little extra spending money on the weekends, students should take advantage of the multiple on campus resources.

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