The News Site of Fresno City College

Fighting Hunger is the Worthiest Cause

January 27, 2016

Hunger should not be a barrier to success for college students.

Unfortunately, it is.

A Wisconsin HOPE Lab survey of 4,000 community college students from 10 community colleges across the nation shows that half of all community college students are struggling with food and/or housing insecurity.

The same report also found that out of the 10 community colleges surveyed, six colleges had typical rates of poverty in their surrounding community.

Forty-three percent of students surveyed said they could not afford “balanced” meals while 39 percent reported that the food they could afford was often not enough to fill them up.

Fortunately, beating hunger has become the focus at Fresno City College as well as in many community colleges and universities across the country.

FCC opened the doors to its first ever Ram Pantry on Jan. 22 with the mission of addressing student hunger.

Food insecurity means not knowing where your next meal will come from and as is the situation for many students at FCC, students must choose between buying needed textbooks or paying for sustenance. Students usually choose the latter, risking failure in their classes.

The Associated Student Government deserves praise for this new project. The organization initiated this project and did all the necessary legwork.

In data published by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research in the 2012 California Health Interview Survey, Fresno County had 41.9 percent rate of food insecurity; 86,293 Fresno County residents relied on the food stamp program, according to the same data.

The Washington Post reports that the number of colleges in the U.S. with food pantries rose from just one in 2007, to 121 in 2014; the number continues to go up.

It is now up to the community to continue to support this effort at Fresno City College.

The college deserves an applause for tackling this epidemic and making a difference.

We hope that the number of students benefitting from the pantry will grow exponentially, and that in the near future, the number of recipients will double.

No student should have to choose between food for the stomach and food for their brain.

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