The first room is where those in need present their student ID and class schedule, Case said. The second room, which is just big enough to fit two people at a time, is where students shop for food or hygiene products. The third room is where the 1,000 pounds of food people donate every month is stored, Case said.
The report found that 64 percent of students who have limited or uncertain access to adequate food also have difficulty with housing. One in four college students are “highly non-traditional” – working part-time or full-time, raising kids, or lack a high school diploma, the report says.
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Food pantries have opened at Wright State, Ohio State, Cleveland State, Kent State, Xavier University, the University of Akron, University of Toledo, University of Cincinnati, and four community colleges, according to the report. One of those community colleges — Owens in Toledo — saw a need and opened the pantry to staff members, said Phil Cole, executive director of the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies.
The Project on Student Debt reports that among the two-thirds of four-year college students who borrow to attend school, the average debt upon graduation is $30,239.
The College and University Food Bank Alliance, a national association, had 400 members by the end of last year. In its report in October, “Hunger on Campus,” the alliance surveyed 3,765 students in 12 states and found 48 percent of them reported “food insecurity” in the previous 30 days.
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The poverty report comes as federal cuts impacting colleges are in the works. The Trump administration is proposing a $3.9 billion reduction in discretionary Pell Grant funding for fiscal year 2018 and House Republicans on the Education and Workforce Committee plan to eliminate $65 billion in mandatory Pell Grant funds over 10 years.
Pell Grants, which cover up to $5,920 per school year, are used by 7.5 million Americans to attend college.
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