Many students and families must adjust to the expenses of being a college student, such as tuition, transportation, housing and school supplies. In addition, the cost of food is increasing. Therefore it is important for schools of any level to provide food to students at no cost.
The Alameda Food Bank is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting anyone in need of groceries by hosting food donation centers around the Bay Area, including at schools such as West Oakland Middle and High School, Westlake Middle School and Berkeley City College.
Since 2017, students attending Peralta Community Colleges have had access to a food pantry located at Berkeley City College. With deliveries from the Alameda County Food Bank, the food pantry provides nonperishable goods and fresh produce to over one hundred students at each occurrence.
As schools are encouraged to provide free lunches to students, many have done so. Due to free lunch, many students and their families have been relieved of food insecurity and the burden of having to buy food to pack for lunch every day.
“Some have no car and can’t buy anything more than they can carry. Some have a limited budget and need to carefully purchase items that they can buy. Others have to figure out what they can store and prepare without a stove and refrigerator,” stated the Alameda Food Bank.
According to research conducted by The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, students thrive when they receive adequate nutrition and avoid underdevelopment causing low academic achievement. Hunger can prevent students from working to their full potential in order to succeed in school.
Taking the food tab off the expense list can do wonders for students to flourish and have a positive school environment. Through mobile meal distributions and food pantries, schools can assist students in focusing on learning rather than hunger.
To find food donation resources near you, visit https://foodnow.net/food-today/ and https://www.nourish-wellness.org/food-banks--pantries.html.