COMMENTARY/Food insecurity: Doritos for dinner?
By: KENDELL SIMMONS
Mar 29, 2022
Photo by Foodie Girl on StockSnap
Food insecurity is having unreliable access to a fair and stable quantity of affordable and nutritious food. Food insecurity is present in high numbers among college students, mainly because not all dorms offer kitchenettes and you're not allowed to have hot plates.
Some college students want to cook for themselves to have a more nutritious diet. These issues force us as college students to rely on fast food and microwaving food that might not be healthy.
Students who want a better diet and a place to cook their meals should be an advocate for resolving this issue by addressing their university’s housing administration. Having an access point to cook nutritious meals for yourself can quickly decrease food insecurity.
Research suggests that food insecurity in U.S. colleges and universities is higher than in U.S. households, making this a new public health priority. A study was conducted using students that attend college. More than 20 million U.S. students are high risk for food insecurity.
The study pointed out that many basic needs, such as food and housing, haven't been met for many students. These issues could lead to trouble with learning, leading to no academic success, causing debt. This study was based on eight studies showing food insecurity; it was proven that students are at less risk when they eat at home.
Many people have never been at risk until they attend a university. This study showed that the majority of college students are aren’t being protected from food insecurity.
Studies have made clear the issue of food insecurity among college students. Just one report from 34 colleges said that an estimated 48% of students experienced food insecurity.
A study was performed using students from UC Berkeley. Students were surveyed about their feelings on food security. These were used to gather the experiences of 25 students between January and May. The interviews lasted 20-25 minutes.
The main focuses were the stress of food insecurity interfering with daily life, fear of disappointing their family, jealousy or resentment of students in more stable food and financial situations, sadness from reflecting on food insecurity. Given the impact of food insecurity on physical mental, and academic well-being, giving students better resources to avoid these problems is essential.
College students should survey on campus to see how much support we get on the kitchenette dorm proposal. After gathering numbers, college students can reach out to the rest of the school, including someone of higher authority within the housing board, to make them realize the better health benefits of having a kitchenette. After making a proposal, students can also show everyone that it is less costly to cook for themselves rather than eat out every day.
Food insecurity is not the only reason to give college students kitchens. In our generation, gaining too much weight is one of everyone's biggest fears. Our current food resources are poor, from non-appetizing cafeteria food to fast food and snacks. These issues have raised many questions: Are we just here to get an education, or are we here to live a healthy life while getting an education?
Kendell Simmons is a Claflin freshman political science major from Moncks Corner.