LJWorld.com weblogs Heard on the Hill
KU group spreading hunger survey to students, staff
Many of us have had a laugh about the eating habits of college students who are strapped for cash. They eat lots of ramen noodles. They will do anything to eat something for free. There is even a Twitter account devoted to spreading word about free food available at KU.
But the no-money-for-food problem for college students can actually be a serious issue, says KU senior Ursula Rothrock. If a student is going hungry, or never sure if she's going to be able to eat tonight or tomorrow, it can really hurt her ability to do all the learning she's paying for.
"For some students, it really is a struggle," Rothrock said. She doesn't know how many KU students — or, perhaps, staff or faculty — might be struggling with hunger, but she's known students who've told her it was tough to find enough food to eat. And that's why she and others are undertaking an effort to find out if that's a problem at KU.
She's a member of a group called KU Fights Hunger that's distributing an online hunger survey to students, faculty and staff in hopes of finding out if KU has a hunger problem. "On some campuses it's a problem," Rothrock said, which is something she learned by attending a recent national conference on the subject.
The KU Fights Hunger group, until this year, had included only faculty and staff, and it was dedicated to organizing an annual food drive for the Lawrence food bank Just Food. But this year it added some students, and Rothrock says it's trying to figure out if it there's anyone on campus who could use some help.
One thing some campuses have done, she said, is to stock on-campus food pantries for students. She's not sure what measures might be possible at KU to help hungry students, she said, but the first step is to see if there actually is a problem.
The group is hoping to collect 1,500 responses, and analyze the data this summer. I'll be interested to see what the results are.