Due to the stresses and anxieties that come along with being a college student, good health and wellbeing are often put on the back burner. Some Weber State University students rely on the Weber Cares Food Pantry for their meals.
Food pantries are gaining popularity amongst universities across the country as the issue of food insecurity becomes more prevalent.
According to a national survey conducted by Temple University, an estimated half of American undergraduates experience food insecurity while pursuing college degrees.
Food insecurity is defined by the Department of Agriculture as “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, or the ability to acquire such foods in a socially acceptable manner.”
Because student academic performance can suffer dramatically due to food insecurity, Weber State’s Center for Community Engaged Learning has intervened to create the Weber Cares Food Pantry.
The food pantry, which began in 2011, strives “to increase healthy eating options, decrease food insecurity, and increase students’ ability to stay in school and finish their degree.”
The pantry is located on the fourth floor of the Shepherd Union building, and is available to all students with a Weber ID card. Options available to students vary from soup and peanut butter to toothpaste and shampoo.
Andrea Hernandez, the Weber Cares Food Pantry Chair, said a lot of students use the pantry on a daily basis, and their identity always remains confidential.
The primary funding for the food pantry comes from the WSU’s service team and food drives from Sodexo. The food pantry also accepts private donations of both food and cash to make sure the pantry is always full.
Whether you are struggling to make ends meet due to the financial burdens of college life, or forget to bring your lunch for the day, the Weber Cares Food Pantry is there to help all students through one of the daily struggles of being a college student.