Survey Shows Students Skip Meals to Save Money
Published January 31st, 2014
Have you ever skipped a meal to save money?
A recent survey says 30% of University of Florida students have.
UF is preparing to follow Santa Fe College's lead in making sure their students don't go hungry.
A quiet campus occupied by hungry students.
"With the economy the way it is, sometimes you have to stretch your budget, you know," said Santa Fe student Kevin Williams.
We visited both Santa Fe and University of Florida campuses and found students who admitted to skipping meals to save money.
"For rent, for books, for everything that you need for college," said Santa Fe student Kevin Cadett.
"It's usually saving money or I forgot my wallet that day," said Hannah Parker, Santa Fe student.
"When I'm on campus, I just kind of wait until my classes are over and then go back home because it's kind of expensive here sometimes," said UF student Cameron Cooper.
A recent survey done by Gatorwell at UF reported that close to 30% of students skip meals to save money.
And 3.5% of the entire population say they've received emergency help from a food bank within the last year.
"These students work hard. They shouldn't have to worry about eating," said Natalie Rella, Health Promotion Specialist with GatorWell.
So what now?
UF is now considering starting their own food bank on campus because of these results.
"Typically, we fill this entire area with breads," said Sarah Stone with Gainesville Harvest at Santa Fe College.
Some students don't know about it but Santa Fe College has its own food pantry on campus, one that's backed by Gainesville Harvest.
"We'll be in here wrapping and see the line get longer and longer," said Stone.
"Every monday morning, members of the santa fe community lineup here at this food pantry's doors, where close to 400 pounds of perishable goods are dispersed within the hour," said Lauren Lettelier, TV20 News.
Those in line receive a bread and a sweet.
If they are in "urgent need" of canned goods, they can have a Santa Fe staff member vouch for them and get what they need.
"They're beautiful foods prepared and it's so nice to see them go to someone who appreciates them," said Stone.
15 tons of food has left this pantry in the past two years.
All to help relieve the students of one more worry.
The Santa Fe College Pantry distributes food monday mornings around 8:30.
Also, GatorWell at UF offers cookbooks to students who are looking for healthy options at an affordable price.
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