Food pantries can only do so much to hep
By Thunderword Staff
What is the mission of a college? To educate? To prepare students for the future?
These days it seems that colleges are having to expand their missions, and dive deeper into projects that in a perfect world would not be their responsibility.
Recently, Highline opened up a food pantry on campus. The resource is important for everyone on campus who do not have access to enough food. Too many people in our society are left where their next meal is coming from, and this pantry gives students a little bit of stability.
When you're hungry, it is hard to think about anything else. How can a student be expected to learn when all they can think about is how hungry they are?
But ideally, Highline shouldn't have a food pantry. Ideally, it would not be left up to colleges to pick up a ball society is collectively dropping.
Food insecurity is a problem in life that people are way too easily forgetting. In America, roughly 12 percent of households are food insecure. That means one in eight people have either low food security or very low food security.
In any given class on campus, three to four students are likely focused on not knowing how they are going to eat. This problem is bigger then Highline. This is a problem that society as a whole needs to work on.
Trying to feed an eighth of the population out of food pantries is the equivalent of throwing a glass of water on a five-alarm fire.
Food pantries can give the rest of society a false sense of comfort. The reality is that there are not enough food pantries to try to feed everyone.
There is plenty of food in America. The issue is not with a lack of food, the issue is with a lack of money to buy it. Food pantries cannot be left to try to feed an eighth of the population.
The simple fact is that this is a symptom of a much larger problem. Wages for workers have been stagnant for years, the minimum wage is too low, and rent has been skyrocketing for people in the region.
The idea that minimum wage jobs are for college kids to get experience is simply not true. This region is facing an epidemic where people do not have the money to afford basics like housing and food.
This is a problem that is bigger than Highline, and it is going to require a solution that is bigger than Highline. It is going to take us collectively looking at the problem and realizing something needs to change.
Society needs to look at everything that is causing this issue. They need to focus on the root of the problem, and not just try to put a band aid on a bullet wound.
Until we do that, colleges and other institutions are going to be forced to try to fix a problem that they can't solve on their own.
Highline's food pantry is a valuable resource, but ideally, it shouldn't exist.