Home / News / College Students: Struggling with Food Insecurities by Andria D.


College Students: Struggling with Food Insecurities by Andria D.

We’ve discussed college students suffering from homelessness, today’s focus is on college students who struggle with food insecurities.

As you may know, housing insecurities do not always mean that one is homeless or living in a shelter. It could also  mean that a person may have unstable living situations like couch surfing or rent payment issues and most students in the situation struggle with access to regular meals.

Students struggling with food insecurities don’t always know where their next meal is coming from. When you’re a student and you have a certain amount of school units you are ineligible and can’t apply for SNAP benefits or GR (general relief) from the county.

In my opinion, I feel as if there should be a program for struggling college students that the county should offer.

Imagine trying to better your life and career and you have to worry about your next meal — that adds more stress on a student.  It can be discouraging when trying to study while having an empty stomach and wondering where the next meal will come from.

Another thing to keep in mind is that not all students are eligible to receive financial aid which makes the struggle for food and other resources most difficult. As I mentioned in my recent post it took me months to get my financial aid in order because they wanted some of my parents personal information that I didn’t have and couldn’t get. I was constantly back and forth in the financial aid office trying to get support. I wasn’t financially stable at that time and had to struggle with getting groceries.

I feel that there should be more help for students when enrolling in school and applying for financial aid.

Most students may not know about some on campus food pantries that some colleges offer or they may feel embarrassed to ask a counselor. Some LACCD colleges do offer food pantries to students but the student would have to know to speak with a school counselor to get information about the school pantry. Without access to healthy food pantry support, students are more likely to eat unhealthy cheap foods because that’s the only affordable option.

From my experience going to a community college, I feel like they could spread the word about the food pantries that they offer because many students may not know that their school offers those resources.

One of the reasons Team WIN wants to spread the word about the WIN app is because it can help students find a food pantries near them without their peers knowing they’re struggling. As a student you may not want your peers knowing that you’re struggling because you might be afraid to be judged or you may think that they can’t relate to what you’re experiencing.

Team WIN has created several videos to help people with food access and nutrition. The “Cooking with Pearl ” series  on YouTube shows people how they can cook affordable meals and some of the ingredients come from local food pantries. We have also produced a Survibe video on how to shop at food pantry.

To watch “Cooking with Pearl” , Survibe – Visiting a Food Pantry or the how to use the WIN app videos, subscribe to OCLA’s YouTube Channel (OCLA – Our Community LA), or click on this link: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCxAT0ERcRnMEkxrB0qLU05g