Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Food Insecurity: The Skeleton in the College Closet

Maintaining a balance between school, work, and life demands can be a challenge, especially if students have trouble feeding themselves, or oftentimes, their children. Food is a necessity, and it’s difficult to perform well in school and life without it. Vol State staffers noticed a problem on campus; that there were students lacking food. They responded with what is now known as The Feed. It’s a campus food bank open to all students, and it’s completely free, all students need is their ID. The Feed also provides bagged lunches available in the Thigpen Library and Student Services in room 217 of the Wood Campus Center. The Feed recently began offering various hygiene products, diapers, baby food and formula, and even school supplies. 
“I live alone with my daughter, I’m a single Mom, and so it’s nice to have extra food,” said Patricia, a Vol State student. “I work two jobs, and I’m a full-time student. I had heard about The Feed for a while, and I was a little embarrassed to go at first, then I finally decided to go. The staff didn’t ask a lot of questions, and that’s what I liked about it, you don’t have to explain yourself at all. I already have a lot of issues I have to deal with, so it’s just nice to have a place I can go to get some food without being questioned.”

After students visit, they will be asked to complete a short survey to provide feedback. Students are able to use The Feed whenever needed, and there’s no limit on the number of items they may take.
“I love making life easier and helping people in a positive way, we are sometimes the difference between if someone eats or not that day,” said Teresa, a student worker of The Feed.
“I’m all about reducing barriers,” said Jamie Fuston, assistant professor of Sociology, and a volunteer at The Feed. “If students are too concerned about what they’re going to eat that day and can’t focus in class, or if they have to leave class early to go to work to afford food, then there’s a barrier to their education. Being able to help reduce those barriers is what intrigued me about The Feed. We’ve also gotten some really good data from the surveys about other kinds of social services students would want as well.”

The Feed is located in room 151 of the Ramer building, and is always interested in donations and volunteers. There are donation bins located in the lobby areas of the Wood Campus Center, Ramer, SRB, and the Thigpen Library. The Feed hours change from time to time, but the current hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8 a.m. til 5 p.m.; Wednesday from 8 a.m. til 3 p.m.; and Friday by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, or for other questions, please call (615) 230-3461, or e-mail
-By Rachel Keyes

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