LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Food for thought

Why JCU needs a food pantry

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Food for thought

As college tuition continues to rise across the United States, many students find themselves struggling to afford basic necessities like food. Unfortunately, hunger is a problem on these campuses. According to Forbes, nearly 40% of U.S. college students are currently facing food insecurity, which is defined as the lack of access to enough food for an active, healthy life. This means that almost half of college students are struggling to afford enough food to eat. Food insecurity not only affects students’ physical health, but also their academic performance. Students who lack food are more likely to struggle with things like concentration, memory and attention span. By providing access to healthy food, colleges can help students stay focused and succeed academically. 

According to a previous article written on The Carroll News by Megan Grantham, there was supposed to be a food pantry coming to campus for the 2019-2020 school year. JCU had sent a survey to students and faculty during the 2019 semester and a total of 685 people responded to it, with 85% of those responses coming from students. Most of the respondents lived off campus and a good portion of them experienced food insecurity. As a result, JCU made the decision to start a food pantry. However, we are assuming that this plan fell short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

We are hoping to reignite this idea of starting a food pantry here at JCU. As a Jesuit university, John Carroll values the importance of social justice and service to others. Establishing a food pantry would be an excellent way for the university to address the issue of food insecurity on campus. By providing a place where students can come together to support each other, a food pantry can help build a sense of community on campus. Students, staff and faculty could volunteer at the pantry, donate food or simply raise awareness about food insecurity on campus. The pantry could also be open to the community more broadly, fostering better relationships between John Carroll and its neighbors. 

Overall, starting a food pantry at John Carroll University would align with the university’s values of social justice and service to others. It would support student success, encourage community involvement and demonstrate leadership in addressing a critical issue facing many college students. This is just some food for thought that we hope you take into consideration.