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Food Insecurity a Big Concern for MN College Students

Advocates say two in five college students in Minnesota are facing food insecurity. (Adobe Stock)
Advocates say two in five college students in Minnesota are facing food insecurity. (Adobe Stock)
January 30, 2020

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- College students across Minnesota are now back on their respective campuses following the long holiday break.

But advocates say many students are struggling to get the food they need.

A recent report notes that 40% of Minnesota college students have experienced food insecurity.

Colleen Moriarty, executive director of the group Hunger Solutions Minnesota, says the notion that these students live on ramen noodles is no longer a harmless joke.

"It's less and less of a joke when you hear, as we did last year, testimony at the Legislature from students who said, 'After I paid for my tuition and books, I had $10,'" she relates.

Moriarty says while there's plenty awareness among university systems and lawmakers, there needs to be more action in terms of investment.

At the national level, 45% of college students in the United States are food insecure.

Moriarty says extra funding could help these students in a variety of ways. She says the action needs to be direct so that these students are aware there would be options for food assistance.

"Having food trucks that can visit on a regular basis -- mobile food shelves, or whether it is providing vouchers," she points out.

Moriarty says not having enough nutritious food can prevent these students from advancing in the world of higher education. She says the issue is more pressing for students at two-year institutions.

Disclosure: Hunger Solutions Minnesota contributes to our fund for reporting on Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Mike Moen, Public News Service - MN