Baruch should inform students about helpful food programs

The Editorial Board

Baruch College and CUNY as a whole have been working hard to combat food insecurity within the student population. A Fall 2018 survey of students across all 25 CUNY campuses found that 48% of respondents had dealt with food insecurity in just 30 days leading up to taking the survey. According to a study from Temple University, 36% of students surveyed had suffered food insecurity. 

Food insecurity — when someone lacks access to safe or healthy food or is experiencing hunger due to the inability to afford food — is clearly a big issue for CUNY students, many of whom are people of color or come from low-income backgrounds. Thankfully, CUNY campuses have been making efforts to provide all students with access to food or food vouchers. At Baruch, three offices participate in the Grab and Go program, in which students can pop into either the Office of the Dean of Students, the Office of Student Life or the Office of Health and Wellness to pick up a bag that contains enough food for three meals.

No proof of need is necessary and it is open to all students on campus. Similarly, Hillel, has a small food pantry of its own and offers it to students in need of some meals. Hot meals are also offered every other Wednesday in the Bearcat Den, dubbed the “Hot Lunch on the Go” option. Students who can’t stay to eat the food can take a meal with them.

This program is funded by the Carroll and Milton Petrie Foundation. Food vouchers are also available for eligible students through the Student Emergency Fund, to be used at Hidden City Café and Gramercy Grill. Depending on the student’s level of financial need, they can receive multiple vouchers. CUNY also recently unveiled a new Food Insecurity Program, which will provide students at specific campuses with stipends to use at their school cafeterias worth up to three $10 meals a week. While all of this is great, these programs might not have quite as much reach as CUNY intends for them to have. CUNY should do more to promote these programs by including them in the daily CUNY Brief email blasts.