Letter to the Editor: Campus Food Insecurity

The following letter was submitted from Dr. Kathy Bailey’s Social Work 508 class and has been lightly edited for clarity.

Food insecurity among college students is an issue that flies under the radar, yet a host of students have found themselves not knowing where their next meal is coming from. Although about one in three college students are food insecure, only about 20% of these students use the benefits available to them on their college campus, according to the HOPE Center at Temple University. At Bridgewater State University, there are many resources available to students who are food insecure, facilitated through the BSU Food Pantry, such as the food bank that is open seven days a week, assistance with accessing SNAP benefits, and the BSU Permaculture Garden which provides free produce to students. However, are BSU students aware of these resources?

As a current Master of Social Work student at BSU and class of 2022 alumni, I only learned through researching this issue that students can donate their extra meal swipes to other students in need, another program run by the food pantry on campus. From a social work perspective, having resources in place can only go so far if the access and awareness about them is minimal. Increasing accessibility and awareness of the resources for students who are food insecure at Bridgewater State University can help students and their peers access resources sooner and more frequently.

I call on BSU students and faculty to educate themselves on these resources by researching online, as well as the resources on campus to provide more knowledge of benefits available to students around campus, such as flyers in dining halls, class buildings, and engaging professors to notify students of programs available through the food pantry. The more that students and faculty know of said resources, the easier it will be for students to access them in a time where being food insecure is often unexpected, stressful, and even a shameful feeling as a young adult. If you or someone you know is food insecure, please visit the BSU Food Pantry located in RSU Rooms 010-016.

Christina Lavelle
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