Concordia Students Talk Food Insecurity During MLK Jr. Day Celebration
According to a recent survey by Concordia, nearly 1/3rd of their students say they've experienced food insecurity within the last year
MOORHEAD, MN – “I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.”
Martin Luther King Jr. delivered that message in 1964 as he accepted his Nobel Peace Price.
56 years later, college students of all walks of life are still struggling with something called Food Insecurity.
Students and staff at Concordia College came together on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to discuss how they can address the issue.
“It’s something that impacts students of color, LGBTQI+ students, or impoverished students, and those are all students that MLK would want to fight for,” said Abigayle Reese, the Student Government Vice President at Concordia College.
According to a recent survey by Concordia, nearly 1/3rd of their students surveyed say they’ve experienced food insecurity within the last 12 months.
Concordia says that 50% of black students are likely to be dealing with food insecurity, that’s compared to 31% of white students.
Food Insecurity means that you don’t reliably have food available to eat, and rarely get to eat a nutritious meal.
That insecurity can affect students mental, emotional, and physical health, and lead to unhealthy habits like naps to avoid hunger, and binge eating.
“Eating is a right, and it’s pretty ridiculous that we are having to fight for students to be able to have this. It shouldn’t be a struggle that students are trying to address,” said Abigayle “I shouldn’t be fighting on my campus to get a food pantry. I shouldn’t have to travel across the country and hear students tell me that theirs times that they just go to bed hungry.”
A lot of misconceptions surround food insecurity, such as hunger being part of the college experience.
“Another one is that they should just work more if their food insecure, but 68% of food insecure students are actually working, and they’re working at higher rates then those students that aren’t food insecure,” said Abigayle.
The college is hoping to address these issue with their new on-campus program, Cobbers Feeding Cobbers.
The program will let students donate part of their meal plan money to create free meals for students facing food insecurity.
“Just knowing that the college is considering possibly another option that will help those students get food, it’s just really nice to know that their considering that,” said Ayla Mondry, a student at Concordia.
Concordia College provides an education, and culture, for it’s students, and now, their working to make sure that every student can have three meals a day.
You can find out more about the Cobbers Feeding Cobbers program here.