As College Costs Rise, Schools Open Food Pantries For Students

Saturday, April 23, 2016
By Paul Martin
April 23, 2016

The stereotype is so old that it’s enmeshed in popular culture: College students arrive on campus to find a surplus of food — enough for food fights in dining halls or to pack on the infamous “freshman 15.”

But lately, college administrators have discovered that some of their students face a different reality. Many are struggling to find enough to eat.

As a result, universities across the state have begun offering a different kind of meal option. All-you-can-eat dining halls are still a mainstay for students who can afford them. But now, campuses are also opening free food pantries to serve their needier students.

In recent years, at least 14 colleges in Texas and hundreds across the country have opened food pantries, according to the College and University Food Bank Alliance. They range from big public schools like Texas Tech University and the University of North Texas to community colleges like Tarrant County College and Amarillo College. Most were created after administrators or students realized that food insecurity was a growing problem at their schools.

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