Bucks Student Hunger on the Rise, a New Survey Confirms


Nicole Aquino

In a recent survey conducted last spring by the institutional research department here at Bucks, it was discovered that a surprising number of BCCC students are not getting enough to eat.
The statistics of the survey examined when and how Bucks students are getting enough food throughout the semester. 18.58 percent of students said they were not eating one to two times a day, 11.49 percent of students said three to four times, and 9.8 percent of students said five or more times. 10 percent of students said on a regular basis, it was difficult to eat during an average college day.

Executive Assistant to the Provost and part time history teacher, Samantha Gross, has been advocating this issue for over a year now. After learning about this problem, she immediately wanted to find a way to try and solve it. To know that her students might not be receiving satisfactory nutrition throughout the day is hard on Gross, because it is making it difficult for them to focus and do
well. The problem is somewhat linked to economics. A lot of these students have financial issues and having to pay for their food is not lessening that stress from their lives at all. Gross said, “In grades K-12, there are options of buying lunch that is inexpensive, but once students get out of high school, there are significantly less ways to get food at a low price.”
Not everyone can afford the the Café everyday, and sometimes that means students miss a meal. A lot of students are trying to juggle school, work, and school payments. Sometimes, food is a luxury students cannot afford.
Paige Michaels, 19, an Education major at Bucks, said “I leave the house without breakfast without even realizing because my focus is on school.” Chris Green, 20, a Business student at Bucks, said “I agree, it’s hard to focus and sometimes. I forget my lunch and I don’t have the money to buy it.”

The issue is also rooted in the perceived embarrassment and
insecurities. Gross stated, “In fact, 30 percent of Bucks student experience insecurities.” Nationally, over 40 community colleges deal with this issue.
Instead of talking to their close friends, teachers, and staff, students are not getting the right amount of food intake. Students should encourage each other, and help a friend in need when they see it.

If someone is afraid of talking to a teacher, try to be there for them and help them to the best capacity possible.
Gross, and other Bucks faculty, have gathered together and discussed this important issue. Gross added, “I have attended conferences with other community colleges with the same problem.” Gross is very dedicated in accomplishing this problem, so much so that she has spoken to local food services, who are eager to help. Gross said, “The truth is, food is a basic need and there is an inadequate supply of food.”

Gross hopes this issue will be resolved within the year of 2019.