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More college students are going hungry

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When Paul Vaughn, an economics major, was in his third year at George Mason University, he decided to save money by moving off campus. He figured that skipping the basic campus meal plan, which costs $1,575 for 10 meals a week each semester, and buying his own food would make life easier.

But he had trouble affording the $50 a week he had budgeted for food and ended up having to get two jobs to pay for it. “Almost as bad as the hunger itself is the stress that you’re going to be hungry,” said Vaughn, 22, now in his fifth year at GMU. “I spend more time thinking ‘How am I going to make some money so I can go eat?’ and I focus on that when I should be doing homework or studying for a test.”

A problem known as “food insecurity” — a lack of nutritional food — is not typically associated with U.S. college students. But it is increasingly on the radar of administrators, who report seeing more hungry students, especially at schools that enroll a high percentage of youths who are from low-income families or are the first generation to attend college.

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Posted (edited)

The gov. of Tennessee is trying to pass legislation that anyone who graduates high school, or the equivalent, can get two free years of community college or tech school. I think this is a terrific attempt in the right direction.

This is only for Tennessee students, by the way.

Edited by Michelle
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never seen a hungry student in my life, may be when they are stoned and too lazy to get food. they never seem to have problems finding funds on alcohol, and weed.

another blown out of proportion artcle, and another "see how bad things are in America" thread.

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never seen a hungry student in my life,

I have. You won't see one ever turn down a free meal either. Sometimes I think people forget how tough it is starting out on your own. And no, the majority of kids don't have parents they can fall back on for one reason or another.

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My thoughts...

This is a serious problem for some students by no fault of their own. The books and tuition alone cost a lot of money, and, sometimes, the student is reduced to eating Ramin noodles or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

I admire their tenacity, but not their unavoidable nutrition.

Something should be done about this, IMO.

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I have. You won't see one ever turn down a free meal either. Sometimes I think people forget how tough it is starting out on your own. And no, the majority of kids don't have parents they can fall back on for one reason or another.

well, i have been to school too, and yes sometimes i too had few bucks in my pockets in change, quite often actually, ate cheap snacks, but i would not call it a big problem, or going hungry, i also have been to a few countries over the world, and seen what really means to go hungry, not nearly the same as here. students are not hungry, they just do not eat as well as they would like. that is big difference from going hungry.

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Poor babies. Here's an idea, drop out of school for a few semesters and get a job or go to work full time and continue as a part-time student. Life is hard. You figure the **** out and learn how to cope.

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Posted (edited)

This guy could go to being a part time student or get a loan for school and still have the two jobs?. I think one of the problems with our education system is that as a society we view being a part time student as a failing. Its like if you dont get a degree within the four years of time your "suppose" to then your somehow behind, we act like they failed kind of.

Im not saying the student hunger is not a problem, it may be. But in my experience i honestly have not seen it. Sure we love free food and we may not be able to eat as much as we please 24/7 but I havent heard, soon or meet anyone starving.

I will say that the meal plans, at least at OSU, is a huge scam. You buy a certain amount of blocks( there is like 3 different plans each with a different amount) for the year, they give you way more then you will ever use (so you already loss money) And each block is worth 5$ but you have to pay 8$ for a block. Then whenever you buy food things will cost like 6$ so that you now have to use you blocks to pay for it but you loss the other 4$ from the second block regardless if you buy more food or not.

Its cheaper not to have a meal plan, but the force you to have one if your in a dorm, not for apartments though or commuters

But im kind of skeptical of this dudes story

Edited by spartan max2
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Man....I'm not going to be liked after this one...

This shows the scam of college...they tell kids in high school "you need to go to college" and we as a society pretty much back that up completely...

The truth is, not everyone can afford college. Not everyone is smart enough for college...Not everyone "deserves" college.

There are still trades and skills that can provide a good income but that generally takes some hard work, maybe some sweat and getting dirty once in awhile..."oh the agony"...

If you cannot afford to buy your books, pay your tuition and feed yourself...perhaps a change of vocation is in order...

Just sayin'...

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I have. You won't see one ever turn down a free meal either. Sometimes I think people forget how tough it is starting out on your own. And no, the majority of kids don't have parents they can fall back on for one reason or another.

Yeah, unfortunately I've personally witnessed it going on with a friend too. I didn't think stuff like that happened with people going to college, but ever so often about 2 or 3 times the first month that I experienced this with this gal, usually in the middle of the afternoon, she would come up to me asking me if I had any food on me that she could eat, like an apple or piece of fruit. The first time she asked I didn't think anything about it, just figured she got in a hurry and skipped breakfast or something, so I offered her some change to get a bag of chips or something out of the college vending machine because I didn't carry food on me. Totally refused the money because of pride I guess. Then on the second occasion she asked me again, well I offered change again and she refused as expected, but I started asking her questions after that.

I found out for the past month or two, most of the time she was only eating one damn meal (dinner) a day and that was at relatives house late at night, the rest of the time she sort of scrounged around for food or whatever she could get from other people during the day. Yet the girl worked full time as a Home Health Aide, which only paid 7.25 an hour and she couldn't get a full 40 hours all the time from the company either, but most of the money went on rent, gas (butane), electricity, water, trash pickup, gasoline for her vehicle and college books ( which are outrageously expensive BTW), along with materials required she needed for some classes she had to take in order for her to get her degree. On top of that she was about a month pregnant.

Made me sick to see her struggle like that, so I started making sandwiches for us both and brought them with me, gave her one or two everyday I saw her when we went or had college classes during the week. She at least got lunch 5 times a week that I know of, after I found out about all of this, that I can tell you.

Anyway, apparently it happens. Didn't think that was possible in this country. That really was a total shock to me. Not everybody is fortunate enough to make it I guess. As the saying goes 'crap happens'.

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Posted (edited)

Man....I'm not going to be liked after this one...

This shows the scam of college...they tell kids in high school "you need to go to college" and we as a society pretty much back that up completely...

The truth is, not everyone can afford college. Not everyone is smart enough for college...Not everyone "deserves" college.

There are still trades and skills that can provide a good income but that generally takes some hard work, maybe some sweat and getting dirty once in awhile..."oh the agony"...

If you cannot afford to buy your books, pay your tuition and feed yourself...perhaps a change of vocation is in order...

Just sayin'...

No in a way I think you're right Jeremiah. Hell, I think I may have waste about three years trying to get a stupid AA. I ended up going into business for myself after so long and not finding any decent jobs.

EDIT: Just want to say though, a part of it has to do with the area I live in (limited jobs) and my own personal circumstances taking care of older family members who don't wanna go to a nursing home (can't blame them and I won't put them in there either). So I think it's partly do to locations across the country, on whether or not a college degree will do somebody any good or not.

Edited by Purifier
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Man....I'm not going to be liked after this one...

This shows the scam of college...they tell kids in high school "you need to go to college" and we as a society pretty much back that up completely...

The truth is, not everyone can afford college. Not everyone is smart enough for college...Not everyone "deserves" college.

There are still trades and skills that can provide a good income but that generally takes some hard work, maybe some sweat and getting dirty once in awhile..."oh the agony"...

If you cannot afford to buy your books, pay your tuition and feed yourself...perhaps a change of vocation is in order...

Just sayin'...

I agree. There should be "full cost" disclosure. Some instititutions do not care if you can feed yourself after tuition and books, they just want the money.

In all fairness, this responsibility of understanding should rest with the student or parents, of course, but some institutions can be "slimey",

much like car or real-estate agents(no-offense)

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Anyway, apparently it happens. Didn't think that was possible in this country. That really was a total shock to me. Not everybody is fortunate enough to make it I guess. As the saying goes 'crap happens'.

I live in a college town and kids will make flyers to put in the mailbox asking for odd jobs...along with teacher's phone numbers and other references. I happened to be outside one day when two tall, skinny guys came walking by that were going to do work for a neighbor who was one of their teachers. They politely asked they could pick a couple of apples off the tree and I told them to take all they wanted. They asked if they could come back after work, which was fine, and you would have thought I offered them a bag of gold. They both took off their shirts and filled them completely up.

I saw them later and told them about my brother's house, that had been vacant for a couple of years, that had fig and plum trees with most of the fruit going to waste. When I saw them leaving they had at least a dozen bags full, eating like they hadn't had a meal in days.

I would much rather see students get government benefits, while they are trying to better themselves, than generations of families that have learned to live off the system.

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The gov. of Tennessee is trying to pass legislation that anyone who graduates high school, or the equivalent, can get two free years of community college or tech school. I think this is a terrific attempt in the right direction.

This is only for Tennessee students, by the way.

Free?.... haha... that's a good one!

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Posted (edited)

Free?.... haha... that's a good one!

Yup...free to the students and the taxpayers. He estimates it will cost $34 million a year and the money is to come out of the $400 million already in the lottery reserves. The lottery was set up specifically for education.

Those poor sods who spend five to ten dollars a week hoping to be millionaires are actually helping the community.

Edited by Michelle
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I live in a college town and kids will make flyers to put in the mailbox asking for odd jobs...along with teacher's phone numbers and other references. I happened to be outside one day when two tall, skinny guys came walking by that were going to do work for a neighbor who was one of their teachers. They politely asked they could pick a couple of apples off the tree and I told them to take all they wanted. They asked if they could come back after work, which was fine, and you would have thought I offered them a bag of gold. They both took off their shirts and filled them completely up.

I saw them later and told them about my brother's house, that had been vacant for a couple of years, that had fig and plum trees with most of the fruit going to waste. When I saw them leaving they had at least a dozen bags full, eating like they hadn't had a meal in days.

I would much rather see students get government benefits, while they are trying to better themselves, than generations of families that have learned to live off the system.

Oh man, yeah that sucks when people get into situations like that. Glad you decided to let them have those apples and other fruits, though. :tu: I'll bet you made their day.

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Posted (edited)

Yup...free to the students and the taxpayers. He estimates it will cost $34 million a year and the money is to come out of the $400 million already in the lottery reserves. The lottery was set up specifically for education.

Those poor sods who spend five to ten dollars a week hoping to be millionaires are actually helping the community.

On the surface it sounds like a good idea Michelle. It was created especially for education, for scholarships and the lottery there is only ten years old, correct? Now the proposal is to grant graduates of high school with their first two years paid for from the revenue.

Just curious...

Has this reserve ever been dipped into during the lottery ten year old history? And does the State balance it's budget every year?

It sounds like a great idea but it's also an enormous risk creating another government funded program.

Milton Friedman said something along the line of: "If you put the GOV in charge of the Sahara desert their would be a shortage of sand in five years".

I applaud the good intentions of a program such as educating the future workers but usually what sounds good rarely pays off when taxpayers are left holding the bag if it fails. Many variables come into play once a free program is announced. We could probably think of a few right off the top of our head.

Edited by acidhead

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I remember when California offered Free Tuition at some schools... my friend went to a community college in Fresno.. Tuition free.

I think he had to buy his books.. and that was it.

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I regret my decision in going to college. That was the only option they discussed with us in school. The teachers and staff pushed all of us to go. I had mentioned to my parents that I wanted to take a year off before heading to college but they got scared and would hear none of it.

No one told my parents (they never went to college) or me the crippling expenses required. They just told us the good things about attending school. They never talked to us about private loans, paying back loans, picking the right major, or finding work after graduation.

Students need to be taught about the finances of college and how expensive it really is. This education system is really messed up.

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This is a serious problem for some students by no fault of their own. The books and tuition alone cost a lot of money, and, sometimes, the student is reduced to eating Ramin noodles or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

Agreed. When I was attending college at the time, I can't count the number of times I ate Kraft Dinner. Even that is expensive now.

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On the surface it sounds like a good idea Michelle. It was created especially for education, for scholarships and the lottery there is only ten years old, correct? Now the proposal is to grant graduates of high school with their first two years paid for from the revenue.

Just curious...

Has this reserve ever been dipped into during the lottery ten year old history? And does the State balance it's budget every year?

It sounds like a great idea but it's also an enormous risk creating another government funded program.

Milton Friedman said something along the line of: "If you put the GOV in charge of the Sahara desert their would be a shortage of sand in five years".

I applaud the good intentions of a program such as educating the future workers but usually what sounds good rarely pays off when taxpayers are left holding the bag if it fails. Many variables come into play once a free program is announced. We could probably think of a few right off the top of our head.

I don't have all of the answers, but something has got to be done about the education in this country. If paying for a couple of years of college/tech school, so people can stay off government assistance for years on end, I can't see that as a bad thing.

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I saw that the college tuition at my old place was four times what I paid 20 years ago. The apartment I rented in the area is now twice as much when I lived there.

This reminds me of the 2013 story of the Duke University student living in a van to save money. Now Duke passed a rule to not allow students to do this anymore.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/duke-grad-student-secretly-lived-in-a-van-to-escape-loan-debt-194021112.html

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Man....I'm not going to be liked after this one...

This shows the scam of college...they tell kids in high school "you need to go to college" and we as a society pretty much back that up completely...

The truth is, not everyone can afford college. Not everyone is smart enough for college...Not everyone "deserves" college.

There are still trades and skills that can provide a good income but that generally takes some hard work, maybe some sweat and getting dirty once in awhile..."oh the agony"...

If you cannot afford to buy your books, pay your tuition and feed yourself...perhaps a change of vocation is in order...

Just sayin'...

As my friend who runs a very successful welding business likes to say "Congratulations on getting your college degree, you can now make $50K less a year than the average welder."

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Posted (edited)

As my friend who runs a very successful welding business likes to say "Congratulations on getting your college degree, you can now make $50K less a year than the average welder."

It's kinda funny you used that example Rafterman...I work in steel...on the engineering side. I know architects and engineers, fabricators (where the steel gets cut, punched and welded) to the erectors that stand it up in the field as the skeletons of new buildings.

I know lots of welders...most of them...if they are any good and put just a handful of overtime hours a week in...make close to or around 100k a year. No sh!t....I'm totally serious.

It's a hard job though. It's hard on your body...you can get flash burns...you breathe stinky fumes and you can hurt someone...if you put out poor welds and they fail and a beam falls...you can kill someone.

I have a friend who is an underwater welder...he makes serious bank...and he doesn't have to work that often...but that is a REALLY dangerous job...you better know what you are doing.

Edited by Jeremiah65

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Ramen noodles. There's no excuse.

ramen-noodles.jpg

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