While most college students focus on homework and making good grades, a growing number face even more challenges.
Recent studies show that more that 20 percent of college students across the country reported being hungry.
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi students who suffer from food insecurity now have a place to pick up some free food on campus through a new partnership with the Coastal Bend Food Bank.
"Really it's just been from conversations we have had from students saying yes, this is a need. And quite honestly we have seen that in the 5 days we have been open. Applications have been coming in, and we have been serving those students already," said Assistant Vice President for Student Life Lisa Perez.
Izzy's Food Pantry is located on the second floor of the University Center (room 204). Like the hunger problem on many campuses across the country itself, the pantry is not quite out in the open.
"We are here to insure that they're successful as college students, and we want to remove those barriers that might get in their way of their academic success. So we didn't want our students to be worrying about 'how am I going to be fed' so they can concentrate on getting an education," said Perez.
There are close to 400 colleges and universities in the nation that have student food pantries. Four years ago that number was closer to five.
"Over the years we have heard that students needed some extra food or were in need of food, and not being able to have funds for food because they are paying their bills, maybe family emergencies that have come up and so forth. We did a little bit of research, and we know through that research that college campuses are having food pantries for their students, so we thought, why not here at A&M Corpus Christi," said Perez.
Someone wishing to donate non-perishable food and other items can deliver them to the food pantry office in the University Center in room 204.
Items of particular need are:
Proteins: peanut butter, canned meat (tuna/chicken) and beans (canned or dry) · Grains: pasta, crackers, rice and instant potatoes
Canned fruit in juice or light syrup ·
Breakfast: cereal, oatmeal, granola/cereal bars, pancake mix (add water only) and syrup
Main meals: spaghetti sauce (canned preferred), macaroni and cheese, boxed meals and canned soup ·
Other items: jelly, coffee and popcorn
Supplies: manual can openers and reusable grocery bags