Colleges Open Food Pantries for Hungry Students

Many students have trouble affording their next meal.

ByABC News
February 10, 2011, 5:24 PM

Feb. 12, 2011— -- When Iowa State University senior Zachary Krueger first heard about a food pantry opening on his college campus, he knew he wanted to go, but he hesitated to step inside. "I had to stop and steel myself to go in," the liberal studies major said. "Basically getting into the mindset that I had no reason to be embarrassed."

That emotion quickly faded after he was greeted by friendly volunteers who urged him to take as much food as he needed. He was relieved. Krueger said he walked out of the pantry thinking about how "mind boggling" it is that so much of his budget goes just to food. "Now that's going to plummet so much," he said. "I think I'll be able to get out of the cycle I'm in of borrowing money from people and giving up more and more of the things I love to do because they cost even the littlest amount of money."

Krueger said he knows that the fact that some college students are in need of food assistance may be hard for some people to swallow. "I understand that it would be difficult for people to accept that a person could afford tuition but not three meals a day, or two," he said. "So I request that skeptics try to suspend judgment on the matter for a while, and let the success of [ISU's food pantry] as it continues speak for itself."

ISU and the University of Arkansas opened food pantries this month, adding to a growing list of universities that includes Utah State University, Bakersfield College in California, University of California-Davis, and West Virginia University.