By: Lucas Latterell and Meggie Armstrong
College students are often stressed, but how stressed would you be if you also had to worry about where your next meal was coming from? Yogev Ben-Yitschak, external director of The Open Seat food pantry run by the Associated Students of Madison, says food insecurity among college students is a much larger problem than most people realize.
“UHS, which is our health system, predicts about 1 in 5 students has been food insecure at a given time, which is about a little over 5 to 8 thousand students.”
Ben-Yitschak says that the Open Seat has three to four hundred students coming in on a weekly basis, and that food insecurity is growing at UW. Libby Schneph of Slow Food Madison, shares that view.
“I’ve become increasingly aware of how big of an issue food security is on this campus and the fact that the University itself doesn’t really talk about it and the burden is really placed on organizations.”
This is a sentiment echoed by Daniel Lassman, a UW graduate student who’s been struggling with food insecurity since he came to campus in 2015. Lassman uses student-run food pantries but says University needs to do more to address the issue saying; “What you have right now is groups like (the Open Seat) and the food kitchens and all these other things, this loose safety net where each group can only do so much…You need to have institutional support.”
To learn more about food assistance resources on campus visit: uhs.wisc.edu/food.