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Hunger is an unwelcome staple at college campuses across New Jersey.
Half of community college students struggle with food hardship, while one in five students are hungry, according to a 2015 national study of 10 community colleges, including Essex County Community College.
Hungry college students, like younger students, struggle to concentrate and succeed in school. They may be forced to delay their education to make ends meet – setting them up for a cycle of poverty that will be increasingly difficult to break.
Colleges and universities should take a comprehensive approach to alleviating student hunger, including gathering data about need and implementing responses that could include on-campus food pantries and enrolling students in food assistance programs.
Hunger Free New Jersey is working with the college community and state officials to develop a comprehensive approach to addressing hunger on our college campuses, including changing state rules so that more struggling students qualify for federal food assistance.