The “poor college student” is sort of a reliable old punchline. Although it actually isn’t that funny, because studies show that more than a quarter of all college students find themselves in a very serious predicament of missing meals.
Food insecurity is a real issue on campus. It is one that finds students choosing between toothpaste and breakfast, between utilities and groceries, between textbooks and meal plans.
According to Feeding America’s 2014 Hunger in America, roughly 10% of its 46.5 million adult clients are college students. That is two million full-time college students. Of those surveyed by the emergency food services network, roughly 30.5% of students reported that they were forced to choose between food and educational expenses at some point over the last year.
At Purdue the ACE Campus Food Pantry was founded in 2015 and aims to make food available to members of the Purdue community who may be experiencing food insecurity on a consistent or inconsistent basis. They also seek to educate and engage the larger Purdue community on the contributing factors to, and the stigma surrounding, food insecurity.
As a Food Finders Food Bank partner agency they support all efforts to address systemic issues in an attempt to eradicate hunger. According to a study published in the American Academy of Pediatrics, students who don’t eat a balanced diet experience significantly lower test scores and impaired ability to get along with other peers.
The Ace Campus Food Pantry strives to create a safe and judgement-free space. It is open Tuesday’s from 2-6 p.m. and on Sundays from 6-8 p.m. in the Baptist Student Foundation located at 200 N. Russel Street.