Most of us have been there before, those of us that went to college. It’s your first time living away from home, no money, no parents to cook dinner, and forced to do your own laundry. Confused, broke, and hungry. The classic starving college student.

Well, not in my case. It’s hard to starve on campus at the Culinary Institute of America.

However, that is typically how college goes. But not anymore. Now it’s considered an “invisible epidemic” by some. Who that “some” is, I don’t know, but I could hazard a guess. All I know, is that hardship is part of being a college student. Afterall, part of the whole experience is to solve higher-order problems on your own.

Felician University disagrees with me, and that’s fine. I know what they do comes from the heart. But I can’t help but hear, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”, run through my head.

According to Insider NJ, a federal grant program called Hunger-Free Campus is being used at Felician to cause the extinction of the hungry college student. They claim that food insecurity has increased due to the lockdowns of years past. Oddly enough, though, that isn’t what the data says. Quite the contrary, food insecurity in the state has been decreasing since 2009.

  • Between 2009/11 and 2019/21, food insecure households dropped from 12.3% to 8.3%.*
  • In the same time, very low food secure households went from 4.5% to 2.7%.*

Despite that, it was still deemed necessary that a Hunger Task Force, which will conduct surveys that can be used to inform the formation of a “best practices profile”. Efforts will also be made to inform students of SNAP, the federal food stamp program, and how they might take advantage.

Help will also come in the form of an expanded on-campus food pantry and a food sharing program, which doesn’t sound much different than a food pantry. All of this is thought up by the Office of Student Affairs, which claims, “Hunger on college campuses is one of the greatest obstacles to student success nationwide. We’re committed to addressing that problem by not only eliminating the stigma associated with hunger, but also by providing practical hunger-free programming to students.”

I think hunger is less an obstacle to success than alcohol use and the average college student’s proclivity to procrastinate. But I’m no expert.

So, goodbye starving, struggling college student. No longer will you need to bum food from your wealthy friends. No further need to subsist on ramen and vending machine Chef Boyardee raviolis. No need to figure it out for yourself.

*Figures from USDA ERS