Hunger is a growing problem on college campuses

By: CBS
By: CBS

CBS - Like many college students, 19-year-old freshman Greeshma Johnson lives on a tight budget, especially when it comes to food.

Once a week, the pre-med student goes to a food pantry operated by her school, The State University of New York at Stony Brook, to pick up a bag full of staples such as soup, oatmeal, macaroni and cheese and apple sauce. Though the pre-med student has the cheapest meal plan and pays for most of her tuition with scholarships and grants, she runs low on food and money at the end of the semester.

"College tuition is rising every year and I guess food prices are rising as well," she told CBS News, adding that the food pantry saves her "at least" $50 a month."

According to the College and University Food Bank Alliance, there are 100 food pantries on campuses across the country. A decade ago, there were hardly any. About 1,000 bags of food have been handed out at Stony Brook, which is in Long Island, New York, since September.

"We don't want students to have to make a choice between textbooks and food," Casey McGloin, one of the pantry's co-founders, told CBS.

Increasingly, that is a choice many students face. A survey done this year at Western Oregon University cited by the Washington Post found that 59 percent of students experienced food insecurity. A 2009 survey at at the University of Hawaii at Manoa found that 21 percent of students experienced the same problem.

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