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Food Insecurity in College Students: What Can We Do?

Food insecurity is becoming a huge problem on college campuses across the country. It’s even a problem on our own campus. But what exactly is food insecurity?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as “a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle.”

According to this study done in late 2017, approximately half of the 30,000 students they studied were food insecure. These were students from two-year colleges and four-year universities. The study also found out that one-third of the two-year college students were also facing home insecurity, which goes hand-in-hand with food insecurity. Another study, Still Hungry and Homeless in College, states that 36% of the students surveyed faced food insecurity within the last 30 days. These students were forced to skip meals or cut portion sizes because of the lack of money they had for food.

So what do we do? While we can’t solve the college food insecurity crisis, there are ways to help other students out. 

Donate money to your local or campus food pantry. Do you have canned goods in your pantry that you never use? Donate your extra food to the pantry too. Maybe even volunteer your time at the local pantry.

Is your campus group having an event with free food in the future? Or do you know of any events? Get the word out. Tell your friends, use your social media accounts. Getting the word out about free food events could benefit a student who isn’t eating as much as they should be. 

While we can’t solve food insecurity by a snap of a finger, we can try to help students, starting in our own community. No student should have to worry about if they can afford dinner for themselves.

Here are local food pantries available for Central Michigan University students.

CMU Student Food Pantry

Located by North Campus Success Center



Tuesday: 5 – 7 p.m.

Wednesday: 3 – 5 p.m.

Friday: 12 – 2 p.m.


CCN Food Pantry

1114 West High St.

Mount Pleasant, MI


Wednesday: 2 – 7 p.m.

Thursday: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 4 – 7 p.m.

Contact: (989) 863-4449


Potter’s House

5346 East Deerfield Road


3rd Thursday of the month

Contact: (989) 772-5681


Isabella County Soup Kitchen

621 South Adams St.


Monday through Saturday: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Contact: (989) 772-7392

Sara is an Integrative Public Relations Major at Central Michigan University. She hopes to work in a PR agency one day, managing social media for clients. When she's not reading yet another book from one of her three bookshelves, she can be found cuddling her cats, Luna and Selene. 
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