Survey shows local college students are struggling to buy food

Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 6:38 PM CDT
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MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Prices are high, and college students are feeling the strain. A survey conducted at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala. found that students are struggling to buy food.

After observing a decline in students’ physical, financial, and mental health over the pandemic, several universities, including the University of South Alabama, adopted the SWISS survey. It stands for ‘Student Well-Being Institutional Support”, and it measures student wellness. The results surprised campus leaders.

SWISS surveyed more than 1500 USA students last fall. The survey found that many students don’t have enough money to buy food. A third of those who took the survey, said it’s a consistent problem.

“When you think about college students, often times you don’t think they’re not going to have access to food. You think about students having meal plans, you think about students living in residence halls, but there are so many students who don’t have, in many cases, regular access to food, particularly due to finances,” said Dr. Mike Mitchell, Vice President of Student Affairs at USA.

In response, USA is launching a website to highlight food resources for students in addition to Jag Pantry, which is located on campus and is free for students. It is open Monday through Friday.

“You should donate under Jag Pantry which is under South Serves, and it’s an open pantry where students can come in if they really need food and they can grab whatever they need and it’s a way that you can give back to your students,” said Jasmine Vo, a student at USA.

Students like Annabelle Ezell are thankful for the support and actions south is taking to meet their needs.

“It was really nice to know that they were looking to see how students were doing, you know, financially or how to support them if they weren’t doing so well,” Ezell said.

The community is encouraged to donate items to Jag Pantry. You can visit the link below if you’re interested in giving.

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