Being a college student is hard. It requires money management, dedication to studies and, arguably the most important, maintaining a balanced diet. Sadly, the latter is something that has found itself to be a big problem.
Healthy eating in college has been a major issue for a while now with college students, and there can be many reasons for this. One of the main reasons of this can be food insecurity. Increased inflation in recent years has led to food prices rising exponentially, leaving college students with limited options when choosing what to eat. A recent survey found that in 2020, 30% of students who were asked, admitted to frequently using food banks.
This problem is not limited to students who live off campus, when eating on campus, it is vital that colleges provide students with an array of options for not only dietary needs, but enough for students to have a healthy and balanced diet. This is sadly not the case, as a study conducted in 2016 found that students tended to eat fried food at least three times each week, and regular fruit and vegetable intake was low.
Samantha Cass, a student at SUNY Brockport, detailed her struggles when eating at college. “I don’t think they [SUNY Brockport] enough options to make sure that I have a good balance of proteins, carbohydrates or vitamins,” Cass said.
“the options aren’t great for vegetarians or vegans,” Cass said. She also added that she doesn’t feel like she has many options outside of college due to how she pays for her meals and dining options.
Combatting food insecurity has been found to be a challenge, but one place that appears to be at the forefront in Brockport is St. Luke’s Episcopal church. They regularly host a harvest kitchen in which people can volunteer to make and serve meals to anybody in the community. This provides students with an option in the case that their insecurity takes over. Not only this but they also have an open pantry located outside for anybody who may feel embarrassed about their struggles and need a helping hand.
Another group that similarly helps to combat this difficult issue is Brockport first Baptist. They also regularly help the community by providing meals, such as their thanksgiving dinners. This sense of community not only helps people who may be struggling, but also make them feel welcome and show them that they don’t have to feel alone.
Whether it be not affording a full or regular meals in college, or not being able to eat a well-balanced diet, the issue of food insecurity is prevalent and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. So, the efforts of those locally are greatly appreciated.