Original link to article on WHO Newsradio 1040: http://whoradio.iheart.com/onair/the-big-show-4636/university-of-iowa-es...
OWA CITY, Iowa - On Tuesday the University of Iowa Student Government voted unanimously to jump-start an on-campus food pantry for students, staff and faculty with $10,000 in funding.
The funding comes following the findings of a Food Insecurity Panel in January, which found a need for a food pantry on the University of Iowa Campus. A survey sent out as part of the panel’s investigation yielded telling responses.
One respondent wrote: “In the past month, there have been six days where I’ve gone completely without eating;” another wrote: “I literally cannot afford food, so I took up cigarettes because they are cheaper per week and curb my appetite.”
“Twelve of the 14 Big Ten schools have food pantries already,” says Andrew Hirst, an intern at the University of Iowa’s Office of Sustainability, “Minnesota and the University of Iowa being the two that don’t.”.
Hirst says food insecurity is especially prevalent in Johnson County.
“It is the most cost-burdened county in Iowa, with an upwards of 35 percent of the tenants being cost-burdened,” he says. “Fifty percent or more of their income is going to just their rent and just housing costs alone.”
One third of the $10,000 in funding will be dedicated to one-time startup expenses for the food pantry, with the remaining $7,000 allocated to recurring expenses such as purchasing food and paying two student interns who will act as pantry co-directors.