CHARLOTTE, N.C. (NBC) – A recent study reveals that hunger and food insecurity is higher among college students than the rest of the nation.
The nationwide survey of college students taken this year found that 45% of college students reported being food insecure, meaning limited or uncertain access to food, in the past month. At four year institutions, more than a third of students reported eating smaller meals or skipping meals altogether because they didn’t have enough money. Eight percent said they went an entire day without eating.
At UNC Charlotte, a student-volunteer run food pantry is the busiest it’s ever been. Organizers say last academic year, the food pantry served around 500 students, and numbers are even higher this year.
Lauren Farmer is a UNCC student who works part time and visits the food pantry.
“I get most of my produce and like, eggs, fruits, vegetables and bread,” Farmer said. “A lot of us, all the money we have goes towards our education.”
Kim Buch, Professor of Psychology at UNCC, said many volunteers at the pantry actually shop before they head home from their shift.
Nikki Layden, a volunteer at the UNCC Student Pantry, said students should never have to worry about how they’ll get their next meal.
“The only thing college students should be stressed about is their exams and getting homework done on time,” Layden said. “Not really if they’re going to be eating tonight.”
To search for a food bank at a college campus near you, visit the College and University Food Bank Alliance website, HERE.