Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of New York college students struggled with hunger even before the COVID-19 pandemic: a survey from the Hope Center found that nearly half of CUNY and SUNY students experienced food insecurity while enrolled in classes. This semester, our Young Advocates built a student-led campaign to end hunger on New York’s college campuses. What does it look like to end food insecurity across the state? Read our blogs from our student leaders on why they’re leading this fight, and what it will take to make New York’s campuses truly hunger-free.
Student hunger is more common than people think — but stigma keeps awareness low.
“Society often stigmatizes people who are low-income, experiencing homelessness, and those experiencing hunger. We need to destigmatize when students rely on their campus for food resources” – Silvianna Marti, CUNY-Hostos Community College student
“The rising cost of college and declining financial aid support also contribute to students being unable to afford food — not to mention students who have caregiving responsibilities that can be expensive and cut into available hours to work.” – Ogochukwu Ononiwu, CUNY-Lehman College student
State leaders have a stake in ending student hunger: from passing legislation to expand SNAP eligibility and access, to making sure each campus has a staff person to support students who can’t meet their essential needs.
“New York’s college students can lead the charge to end hunger on campus by pushing our State Senators and Assemblymembers to pass legislation like Senate Bill 5574, which expands eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps) and Senate Bill 64, which expands SNAP benefits to cover hot food meals, so students can use their SNAP benefits in restaurants near campus or home.” – Ogochukwu Ononiwu, CUNY-Lehman College student
“Start by signing petitions to expand free meals, support policymakers who are addressing issues, find community food organizations to support, and post on social media about student hunger” – Silvianna Marti, CUNY-Hostos Community College student
For more on ending hunger on campus, read the rest of the blogs from our Young Advocates:
- “Let’s eat: Connecting students to food and emergency grant support to help meet basic needs,” by Briancyy Del Carmen, CUNY-Lehman College
- “Let’s talk about food: The hunger crisis facing college students,” by Ogochukwu Ononiwu, CUNY-Lehman College
- “Got food? No? Here’s some help!” by Silvianna Marti, CUNY-Hostos Community College
- “The Hunger Struggle Faced by College Students,” by Djenaba Diallo, CUNY-City College