Texas colleges open food pantries for students
With the price of college continuing to rise, some students, particularly those from low-income families, have found themselves struggling to make ends meet. That’s why some colleges in Texas have taken a step to help, by setting up food pantries for students to pick up free groceries, according to The Texas Tribune.
There’s a stereotype that most college students are overfed, particularly those on all-you-can-eat meal plans. But for students who have to pay for their own meals, food insecurity is a reality.
Students struggle to eat due to rising college costs
With rising college costs, and more low-income students attending college than ever, colleges are finding ways to help make life easier for students who may not have enough money leftover to pay for food after tuition, rent, books and other college fees.
These food pantries can be found at a range of colleges, in Texas, from big public schools like Texas Tech University and the University of North Texas to community colleges like Tarrant County College and Amarillo College.
In some cases, these pantries can be the difference between the student eating a meal or not. Students who skip meals will struggle to succeed in the classroom, so offering food pantries can be seen as a way of helping students succeed academically as well as personally.
Helping low-income students succeed in college
Ideally, food pantries would not be necessary because students wouldn’t be paying so much for college that they can’t afford food. We’d still like to see more steps from both state and federal government to address the rising cost of college.
But we commend these schools for recognizing a distinct need and addressing it in a way that allows students–particularly those who may be afraid to ask for help–to have access to the food they need both to live and succeed in the classroom.
In the words of Catie McCorry-Andalis, dean of students at the University of Texas at El Paso, which opened a pantry about a year ago.
We need to make sure that there are virtually no obstacles and barriers to a student pursuing their education.
Eliminating barriers to education should be a top priority for all colleges, and we hope to see more schools taking steps like this to address the difficulties many students face everyday.