At least thirty-six percent of university students are food insecure, meaning they don't have reliable access to nutritious food. Colleges and universities in Mississippi are partnering to feed more students they say are missing meals. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.
It's lunch time in the cafeteria at Tougaloo College.
Makaylah Hampton, a student at the college near Jackson, says for some this is their last meal for the day.
"If you don't have a car, you can't get to places cause the cafe closes at like 6:30 I think. Especially on Tuesday's and Thursday's cause people have longer classes because of lab. So some people don't even get out of class until like 8:30 so then you miss dinner. So now, you don't have anything to eat," said Hampton.
The College and University Anti-Hunger Alliance of Mississippi is a coalition of institutions and organizations across the state. They are creating food pantries accessible to students in an effort to combat hunger on college campuses.
Tougaloo College, Jackson State University and Coahoma Community College in Clarksdale have already committed to opening food pantries on campus.
Karen Done, director of student engagement at Coahoma, says there's a greater need on community college campuses. According to a national survey conducted by Wisconsin HOPE Lab, at least 42 percent of community college students are food insecure, compared to 36 percent of students attending universities.
"Majority of our students are pell-grant eligible which means that they're coming from homes where there's a financial need. And, because there's that need there's a large percentage of students who are often financially lacking and are hungry," said Done.
For information on how to donate to food pantries on college campuses, visit the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi webpage. Ashley Norwood, MPB News.