April 10, 2014

Are college students hungry?

WaPo presents "food insecurity" as a current problem on campus.
When students try to save by living off campus and eschewing the meal plan, they often find that budgeting for food can be difficult....

“A lot of people tend to think that when you go to college you’re on the meal plan or the university is taking care of you, but for millions of students attending college, that is not the case . . . and with groceries rising and D.C. being a particularly expensive city, you’ll see that magnified,” [said Alex Ashbrook, director of D.C. Hunger Solutions]....

Counting hungry students is hard because the issue is often shrouded in shame. On a Facebook page called GMU Confessions, an 18-year-old student with three part-time jobs confided anonymously last month that “I send my parents 50 dollars every month just so that they can manage to buy groceries, I have a 5 meal per week plan and I’m like REALLY REALLY hungry all the time.”

The student said she was considering suicide...
Suicide! If you can go on line to threaten suicide on Facebook, you can Google something like "how to eat as cheaply as possible" and generate lots of ideas about how to get plenty of nutritious calories for very little money.

I don't want to be callous about anyone who is actually hungry, but what is WaPo up to with this article? It's a jumble of concerns presented as one problem with a highly emotive label: hunger.  Let's think more clearly about the separate components of the problem WaPo wraps into one: Students are trying to save money by not buying campus meal plans. Food stamps and other feeding programs are not sufficiently accessible to students. Students are burdened with a many expenses. Student life is stressful. It's difficult for a young person to manage a household for the first time. Etc.

61 comments:

Gahrie said...

For a significant number of students, it is simple a matter of priority....every dollar spent on food is one less dollar to spend on beer.

The Drill SGT said...

Red Beans, Rice, and Ramen noodles.

Just a tip from my college days.

eric said...

Here in Washington State we have large billboards that say, "1 in 6 residents of Washington suffers from hunger."

The other day we were driving down the road and my 13 year old daughter tells me, "Dad, I'm the 1 in 6." and I didn't understand what she was saying so I asked her and she explained, "I'm hungry! Let's eat!"

And we all laughed because we understood her to be making light of the billboard.

I don't see how such campaigns can be successful when even a 13 year old finds it mock-worthy.

Were I rich, I'd put up billboards saying something like, "We've been so successful fighting starvation, now we're worried about hunger."

Amichel said...

If you can't afford both tuition and food, you would think that food would trump tuition. Get a job, take some night classes, and feed yourself. A college degree isn't worth starving over. And it's becoming worth less all the time.

Mr. D said...

I don't want to be callous about anyone who is actually hungry, but what is WaPo up to with this article? It's a jumble of concerns presented as one problem with a highly emotive label: hunger. Let's think more clearly about the separate components of the problem WaPo wraps into one: Students are trying to save money by not buying campus meal plans. Food stamps and other feeding programs are not sufficiently accessible to students. Students are burdened with a many expenses. Student life is stressful. It's difficult for a young person to manage a household for the first time. Etc.

I bolded my answer. More services for existing clients; also known as "relationship deepening" in the business world.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...

"Findings from a national survey conducted in 2005 indicate that 3 of 10 college students are either overweight (body mass index [BMI] 25.0–29.9 kg/m2) or obese (BMI ≥30.0 kg/m2)"

"College students (ages 17–24), ...are not spared from this [obesity] epidemic and current estimates indicate that one third of all college students are overweight or obese." (1)

Peter said...

I was one of those students who did not have a meal plan- because I figured I could feed myself for less than the cost of the meal plan.

And, indeed I could. A meal plan is, after all, prepared food. And prepared food almost always costs more than food you must prepare yourself.

Then again, I'd lived on my own before going to college, so I already knew how to budget, and basic cooking.

If it's a problem it does sound like more of a maturity problem (budgeting is hard than inability to afford food.

And perhaps an attitude problem: presumably students had never actually had to pay for real groceries before; isn't it just unfair to actually have to pay for that stuff?

Ann Althouse said...

Food can be so cheap that it doesn't make sense to go hungry to cover some other expense (like tuition).

This is why I'm having trouble understanding the problem, and I know the food-program-pushers want me to feel like a lout for questioning them.

Pasta, milk, cheese, bread, eggs, rice, beans...

jacksonjay said...

Hungry Shabazz MOP did OK!

Brando said...

Just join every student organization and figure out when each of them will offer free beer and pizza (which is the only way to get people to attend their events). If you plan wisely you can feed yourself all week long.

Clayton Hennesey said...

Wouldn't it just be kinder to let nature take its course?

jacksonjay said...

How about the Obama solution, drop the cell phone or cable TV?

Jane the Actuary said...

A college meal plan is significantly more expensive than cooking for yourself. This article seems to think otherwise, which is it's first error.

Is the reason for hungry students that, were they in dorms, they would have taken out loans to fund the meal plan, but, on their own, they haven't budgeted properly when requesting loan amounts, and, later in the school year, it's too late to request more money?

Or is there a mental hurdle in borrowing for living expenses, rather than for tuition or a fixed, defined expense such as room and board?

Or do these students simply not know how to budget their money? (I still think that social services organizations, including those at universities, could and should do a lot more in terms of simply preparing cookbooks/meal plans outlining frugal yet balanced food choices and how to prepare them.)

The kid who's hungry because he sends money to his parents -- well, that can't be helped. That's not a "starving college student" sort of thing.

And "giving away unused meal plan meals to the needy"? That doesn't work -- colleges budget a percentage of meals to be uneaten when they set their pricing. Otherwise, it'd be a la carte or per meal-priced.

SJ said...

There might be multiple related problems intersecting here.

1. Inflation in food costs. I'm noticing it, and it has affected my budget. Not crimped my budget, but affected it.

2. Students with little access to grocery stores.

3. Students with access to grocery stores, but without the skills/training/mindset to use them efficiently.

EDH said...

Somewhere, a college administrator burps and farts.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...

High incidences of bulimia and anorexia in college as well.

So this is targeted at expanding food stamp use to college kids, as noted above, to destigmatize it, to normalize its use even -esepecially- among people who don't need it.

Amnesty for college kids = government clients = future Democrats.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...

That is, the issue is not 'hunger,' but food stamps.

RecChief said...

maybe dropping those $7 Vente Lattes would help.

Also, I'm tired of national policy bring driven by the prices in DC, NYC, and SF.

cubanbob said...

You have to live somewhere and you have to eat. Generally speaking the housing and meal plans the universities offer is generally cheaper than living off campus and buying food on your own. The real issue is that the tuition is too high. My personal experience with my kids is as follows: younger daughter is going to Penn this fall. Where in Philly can you find in a safe neighborhood ( and not counting transportation costs) a place to live and have three reasonably decent meals a day for a little over two hundred a week? My eldest daughter went to Mt Holyoke in South Hadley MA and even there you couldn't find off campus housing plus prepared meals for the two hundred a week it cost me. I don't know of any place in the country where you can have 21 prepared meals a week and have housing for $200.00 a week. Again the problem isn't the dorm and meal plans but rather the tuition is too high.

who-knew said...

"This is why I'm having trouble understanding the problem, and I know the food-program-pushers want me to feel like a lout for questioning them." - Ann Althouse.

That's because it's not really a problem. The entire article is propaganda to increase government spending on food stamps. Just as 'hunger' has been redefined as 'food insecurity' in order to hype the issue and provide more jobs for the permanent bureaucracy, the age-old practice of college students living on
boxed mac&cheese and ramen noodles is redefined as some sort of crisis.

carrie said...

It goes well with the article last week about the UConn basketball player who claimed to be hungry. I am pretty sure that scholarship athletes have a training table and get plenty of food, but I could be wrong. But there is some political maneuvering going on with these stories--the UConn story was to support the unionization of athletes, maybe they want to unionize all students!

persiflage mahal said...

When I was in college you could buy a box of mac'n'cheese on sale for 20 cents. I ate a buttload of mac'n'cheese.

The burning civil rights issue of our day is about largely affluent white men and now we're worrying whether those privileged to receive a higher education are getting enough grub and birth control. Utopia at last.

Lyssa said...

I was one of those students who did not have a meal plan- because I figured I could feed myself for less than the cost of the meal plan.

Same here. My school had "apartment-style" housing with kitchens, and meal plans weren't really all that common. For a while I babysat for $28/week (late '90s), and used that to fund groceries, gas, clothing, entertainment, etc, just fine (my housing, books, and tuition were paid for by scholarship). Granted, I didn't eat great food - a lot of canned pastas, dried rice and bean meals, peanut butter & everything, etc. But I always had plenty; I just had to cook it myself.

Jane the Actuary said...

Thinking about this some more, the Post missed the real story -- the fact that college meal plans are a far cry from the "three entrees, salad bar, and sandwich fixin's" that I had. Now I read reports periodically that universities are pulling out all the stops to please their students. I spent a couple minutes looking at meal plans at my alma-mater. Used to be as simple as 2 or 3 meals per day, 5 or 7 days a week. Now all meal plans are "unlimited" and offer access to student union food court meals as well as the cafeterias; plus, there are top tiers that offer guest passes and debit card-type cash of $300 or $150 per semester. This last piece puzzles me, unless it is easier to put a meal plan on the student loan bill than cash back for living expenses, so that this is a way to get cash back from the student loan?

Jane the Actuary said...

Oh, and meal plans can be bought in packages of 25 - 100 for off-campus students, at a price of 9.25 - 6.75 per meal. Not exactly a bargain compared to cooking yourself and brown-bagging it.

RobertL said...

The endless search for victimhood... Here's an idea:

Smoke less dope. You won't be as hungry.

Amichel said...

One issue that makes it difficult to cheaply buy and cook your own food while attending college is living in the dorms. When I was living in a college dorm, we were allowed to have a small refrigerator in our rooms, but we were not allowed to have anything that would create heat (and thus possibly a fire). So, no microwaves, no toasters, no hot plates, not even candles were allowed. There was one kitchen/common area on each floor of the dorm, with 2 microwaves and 1 stove, but this had to be shared by 20 people. Most of the cheapest food items (rice and beans, pasta, eggs, etc) need at least a microwave, and preferably an oven to prepare. I can see how it would be difficult to cook your own food without regular access to a kitchen.

Jane the Actuary said...

Gaaah! I should blog about this, except for the need to actually work. But I looked at the cafeterias, now, too -- they're pulling out all the stops. How does a student adapt to cooking sensibly for themselves, after feasting on college cafeteria meals? Especially since freshmen are generally required to live on-campus.

Fred Drinkwater said...

The solution is simple:
1. Go back in time (oops) and a parent (oops) can train you in basic cooking and budgeting.
2. Have a job (oops) before and during college so you learn where money comes from.
3. Go to a college our family can afford.
4. Share housing, preferably with non-students in the mix.
5. Buy rice and beans (keeps forever) and whole chickens. Roast a chicken once a week. Buy frozen and fresh veg. Buy a big jar of multivitamins and mineral supplement; take 2/week.
6. Profit.
Sure, steps 1 and 2 may be difficult, but his is not rocket surgery.

Birches said...

I brought a portable mini crock pot with me to school. Put beans in it in the morning. Dinner was ready when I came home. Rice is cheap too. So is regular oatmeal. Even today, you can get a pound of American Beauty pasta for a buck--can of tomatoes for 50 cents.

But this is a sign of a larger problem. The people who are "hungry" do not have the knowledge possible to help them not be hungry. Food stamps and free lunches at school will not help. Have you seen what they give out to the poor kids? Its all prepackaged crap. So to a poor person, especially a young person raised on free lunch and EBT cards, food comes in a little package that you open and eat. There is no knowledge about how to cook a pound of beans, or to make your own macaroni and cheese without Kraft doing the work for you. That's a shame.

amielalune said...

I'll bet most if not all of those hungry students have laptops, iPads, iPhones, cable TV, fashionable clothes, Nikes, etc.

Temujin said...

East Lansing, circa 1971: Green pea soup over rice. Mac & Cheese. And lots of coupons for local burger or chicken joints. Every day checking the paper for coupons. Every day finding them.

Was not healthy eating, but we made it, never complained, just went on with what we did, and when things got good: 2 for 1 pizza from Dominos or a Bell's grinder. Ummm…..grinders….

Somehow survived. Didn't think much about Tofu and Kale salads with sliced beets and goat cheese back then.

Brando said...

It's been suggested above, but I think one of the big problems for those students is that many of them don't have meaningful access to grocery stores, or they're living in dorms which have no kitchens so their best bet for cooking is cup o' soup on a hot plate. If you're in a tight budget situation, forget the dorm and live off campus with decent grocery options (or grocery delivery). That, and learn a bit about cooking at home. Then you can live healthy and stretch your dollars.

The real scandal is overpriced tuition though. Saving a bit here and there on food will do little to change the fact that you can still graduate with six figures in debt, and don't you know the wonderful education you got is not likely to get you any job so good luck paying that down.

I don't envy today's kids!

Mr. D said...

Gaaah! I should blog about this, except for the need to actually work. But I looked at the cafeterias, now, too -- they're pulling out all the stops. How does a student adapt to cooking sensibly for themselves, after feasting on college cafeteria meals? Especially since freshmen are generally required to live on-campus.

Spot-on observation. The quality of food in college has improved tremendously in recent years. My son is deciding among three small midwestern colleges and all the meals we've eaten at these schools have been restaurant-quality.

Mattman26 said...

Yes, one more set of victims; hurrah!

The fact that the example they pick is a young woman who is (allegedly) working hard to send money home to her impoverished parents tells you something here. Either (a) that even this example is pure B.S.; or (b) that if it's true, it's incredibly unrepresentative of life for college kids in general (where the worst among reasonably typical scenarios is that your parents aren't sending you any/enough money).

I know there were times in college when I ate more ramen (4 for a buck back then, I think it's 3 for a buck now) than was probably recommended. This was largely due to questionable choices and questionable budgeting techniques. It's never occurred to me that I was part of a "problem" that cried out for public attention.

Crazy Jane said...

Why is the suicidal student sending $50 a week to her parents? I can understand parents who are unable to help much with the costs of college, but I can't understand parents who expect their student children to be funding them. Life can be hard and college is certainly overpriced these days, but it seems to me that this one is on the colleges -- which need to pare their spending (starting with bloated bureaucracies). Not every problem requires a federal answer.

Brian said...

It is true, of course, that college students are mostly bad at a lot of the elementary administrative tasks of life, and that this can have a deleterious effect on their actual in-classroom work. Solutions to his problem that involve relieving students of some of these tasks (I would put food stamps in this category) are superficially appealing to those of whose whose primary concern is in-classroom education, but these solutions should nonetheless be resisted. Those administrative skills have got to be learned sometime, and college is already later than is ideal for this.

Doug said...

The logical outcome of raising a generation of children who are taught that they must go to college. Many of these "food insecure" people would otherwise be working, providing for themselves, growing the economy, and challenging Washington Post writers to find real news, instead of parking their asses in Lesbian Studies classes.

Richard Dolan said...

A few days ago, Drudge linked to an article about Shabazz Napier, the star of the UConn b'ball team that just won the championship. After the game, there was some talk about selling his jersey to raise funds for UConn, to which he replied that he was more focused on the fact that he often had to go hungry at school, and how he often went to bed 'starving' (his word). From the article, it appeared that he lived in a UConn dorm. His comment was strange (to say the least), since universities have always taken good care of star athletes, by (e.g.) providing special training tables, etc., to ensure that they got the right nourishment.

The idea that American college students are going hungry is even stranger in light of what I saw when my oldest daughter was touring colleges (she is now a freshman). One of the common features at all of them was the lavish food service available to students -- with much greater choices, seemingly better quality, and far more user-friendly hours than I recall from my own college days.

Count me as skeptical about this story in WaPo, but I don't know what to make of the comments by Napier. Very, very odd.

Peter said...

Food stamps and food pantries are not enough, in the face of Food Insecurity! We need an Affordable Food Act (aka ObamaEat). Only mandatory food insurance wil end food insecurity.

How does it work? Well, a food insurance policy must meet minimum standards (Organic foods? A few restaurant meals? A modium of quality fresh fruits, vegetables and salad ingredients at all times of the year?

There will be subsidies for those with low income, of course. And deductibles, and co-pays depending on what policy you bought. Stores will no longer mark the prices of foods on the shelves because prices will be different for everyone, depending on what your insurance company has negotiated. You'll swipe your insurance card at the store, and store will then send you a bill. If you don't pay the merchant may sue you; nonetheless, stores will be prohibited from refusing service to hungry shoppers just because they haven't paid their bills.

What could go wrong?

Brando said...

Mr. D--I don't doubt that food at college has increased a great deal (particularly as higher tuition enables that). But I'd ask your kid if the quality stays the same in mid-semester once parents aren't there to eat with their kids. I remember at orientation weekend back when I went to college they served us (and our families) fresh crabs and other delights, and sadly the cafeteria menu went back to normal slop by late September.

Freeman Hunt said...

At Georgetown the meal plan was outrageously expensive, and I didn't know how to cook, yet I ate for about two bucks a meal because there was a Taco Bell on campus and a cheap deli next to my dorm. Other people cooked. The dorm kitchen was always packed.

When I first quit my job to stay home with my son, my husband was starting a business, and we had no money. Hooray for eggs and beans! (But not together.)

Deirdre Mundy said...

My college must have been more food heavy than the ones these kids attend....There were free food events ALL THE TIME. And a Taco Bell on campus. The meal plan worked out to about $9 a meal back in the early 2000s, so a lot of us saved a ton by moving off campus and eating PBJ and Pasta w/ sauce.

Subway is also a cheap meal option. Get a sandwich and ALL THE FREE Toppings, and you have a sandwich and salad.

I think the bigger issue is that cooking nutritious food for ONE is hard. Vegetables, etc. go bad before you use them. Portions in the store are really designed for a family of 3....

richard mcenroe said...

The problem of hungry students who have access to a meal plan... am I getting this right?

lee said...

Oh, puh-leez!

During my student days, I figured out the cheap-to-free eating options. WITHOUT food stamps! When I no longer had a meal plan:

1) I bought the CHEAPEST, mst filling items in the grocery store. It may not have been the tastiest, or the least chemically riddent, but it did fill me up. Ramen noodles, peanut butter, generic white bread, spaghetti...

2) The Hari Krishnas had free dinners on Wednesdays, Chabad had free Friday night dinners, and the Christian group had a free Sunday lunch. All were pretty good, and all were filling.

3) Smaller, on-campus lectures frequently had hors d'oevres or munchies of some sort. Back in my day, these were usually free to students. You didn't really know if there was going to be anything to eat unless you actually went. And often had to sit through whole thing to find out. I impressed the chairman of my department because he and I were the ONLY people who went to EVERY event the department sponsored.

5) Grocery shopping on Saturday, late morning. This was when they had the free samples out. If you worked it right, you could get a decent lunch out of it.

n.n said...

The progressive cost of higher education diverts financial resources from providing for basic needs. Also, people seem incapable of self-moderating, responsible behavior. And, of course, the government, especially federal government, is subsidizing this corruption. It's a trifecta of perfect dysfunction.

Æthelflæd said...

Maybe this generation has watched too much Food Network to be satisfies with ramen and tunafish.

However, food is a gnat on the cow's butt of tuition and housing. It is not so easy to glibly tell kids "Just work your way through like I did". That is a struggle even going to community college or Eastside Podunk U, which most of my kids will be doing to avoid debt. It is a different world out there.

I agree that the WaPo is just jonesing to sign up the poor kiddos on food stamps. "I know you are in debt up to your eyeballs and live in Mom's basement, but at least you've got your foodstamps! Stop complaining."

BrianE said...

Lived off campus as much of my college life as possible.

Too many meals ended up being a big pot of rice-- the good months included something to go over the rice.

Not to say there couldn't have been money for a different menu.

It just meant giving up something more important at the time.

We also rolled our own cigarettes to economize.

lee said...

Reread the article, and except for the one student who seems to be supporting her parents (sending $50 home for them to buy groceries), I am not having a lot of sympathy.

I had a $7/week budget back in my day. Using the "Measuring Worth" calculator, that comes out to about $16.40 in 2013 "real price" value.

I am currently a profligate spender when it comes to food shoping, wasting a lot of money for a household with two adults, two big dogs and one cat, and we spend $100/week on groceries. I buyt the ultra-lean ground beef, and the name brand, snazzy vodak sauce in a jar. And the delicate fresh pasta in the refrigerated section. (I also buy store brand soft drinks to save some money.) I also am really lax about clipping coupons. (I know one woman who is crazy about clipping coupons, and she spend soooooooo much less on groceries than I do. It's amazaing!)

I realize that grocery costs vary from area to area, but for the basics, the difference it not really THAT much: a pint of plain, inexpensive yogurt is not a WHOLE lot different in price from locale A to locale B. (A NAME BRAND one might have a lot more variance.)

Most of these kids just have no idea how to BUDGET, how to SHOP, and how to SAVE.

Life lesson time!

Mr. D said...

Brando says:

But I'd ask your kid if the quality stays the same in mid-semester once parents aren't there to eat with their kids. I remember at orientation weekend back when I went to college they served us (and our families) fresh crabs and other delights, and sadly the cafeteria menu went back to normal slop by late September.

I suspect it stays good; the company that runs the food service at two of the schools in question is Bon Appetit, which splits its business between the college market and the corporate cafeteria market. They were the service provider at a former employer of mine and the food there was consistently top-notch.

Your point about the cost enabling better food is correct, of course.

CatherineM said...

Food is super cheap - pasta for 5 nights is about 77c...

I worked with a pathetic woman in her early 50s who couldn't manage her money. On pay day, she would spend $20 on lunch (easy in NYC) and then 2 days before pay day she would ask for $20 as she was "low on funds." One day she ended up stealing the lunch of a man (father of 4 on a budget) who left his sack lunch in the community fridge. Rather than do like him and make an egg salad sandwich for 50 cents aday, she would spend $20 at local sandwich and salad places.

Food in this country is the cheapest thing.

Helenhightops said...

I actually believe that Shabazz Napier goes hungry - I certainly do. UConn made a statement that he has access to all you can eat student food from 7AM to 7PM, but what does he do after that? Speaking as a one who went to college on Pell Grants (and I had a scholarship that covered everything else, without any loans or work study), I had virtually no spending money. My sister had work study, so she had some spending money and could afford a hamburger at the pub, but for me, that was about once a month; otherwise, I just didn't eat between meals. Now I was a 132 pound Division III basketball player then, and I got really hungry at night. I cannot imagine how hungry these guys get when they are 250 pounds of muscle, and burning a MINIMUM of 10,000 calories daily with two a day practices. I do not believe the NCAA allows training tables anymore. I feel sure they do not allow the athletic boosters to send over a tray of Subway sandwiches at night, and that seems like a shame to me. Grant Hill or Candace Parker had parents able to give them spending money, but many of these guys don't have that. And I think they barter for those terrible quality tattoos.

I was talking to a drug rep who played for Kentucky, and he said the former players did what they could to help some of these guys out, but the NCAA makes it hard. One coach was driving across the UK campus when he spotted a player wearing his practice shoes. He stopped, and called him out on it. "Coach, these are the only shoes I have that fit." "Get in the car, then." He took him then and bought him a pair of 15 EEEE shoes for class. The NCAA busted him, even though the coach said he would have bought shoes for ANY student without resources; he just happened to know about this guy, and what was he supposed to do?

I know these guys are able to stay nourished, but I think if they have to go 12 hours without eating most days they probably get uncomfortably hungry. I wish I could feed them - I love to watch horses and teenage boys eat.

Maybe someone knows more about the training table rule. My friends swam and played baseball for Auburn in the nineties, and they did not have special food arrangements.


n.n said...

Eat more fat (e.g. butter), more protein (e.g. eggs), with a side of vegetables. Most people are not engaged in activities which effectively process carbohydrates. They pay extra for fast energy which remains unprocessed and underutilized. They also pay extra for a finished product, choosing to for go the simple process of preparation. Perhaps home economics, including cooking, should be a mandatory course in school.

Helenhightops said...

http://www.mgoblue.com/genrel/111008aab.html

NCAA food rules - worse than anything the feds could dream up.

Crazy Jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christy said...

Does Common Core cover home economics?

Learning to budget requires a few mistakes, don't you think?

Sigivald said...

an 18-year-old student with three part-time jobs confided anonymously last month that “I send my parents 50 dollars every month just so that they can manage to buy groceries, I have a 5 meal per week plan and I’m like REALLY REALLY hungry all the time.

Something doesn't add up real well.

His/her parents are so poor they need $50 a month to have food, yet they don't qualify for aid programs or the local food bank?

And this student is working three jobs (with how many hours?) and starving his/herself... while going to college?

Drop out. You'll save time and money over failing because you're trying to do incompatible things at once.

Go back later when you have the resources, or go to a community college, or join a trade or something.

This plan is not working for you, and probably cannot be made to with the way you're working it.

Sigivald said...

who-knew said: Just as 'hunger' has been redefined as 'food insecurity' in order to hype the issue and provide more jobs for the permanent bureaucracy

Amen.

I've seen factoids like "25% of children in America experience hunger".

Turns out it meant "within the last year, 25% of them didn't know where a meal was coming from, or skipped a meal, at least once".

The latter might be a problem, but it's not the problem they're presenting it as.

Nobody thinks that latter definition when they're told "childhood hunger" - that's deliberate deceit.

And it has the unhappy effect of making me simply assume there's no problem at all.

Oh. Well.

tioedong . said...

Maybe I'm an old fuddy duddy, but maybe they should get a job and drop out of college. Or maybe they should work at home and go to a community college. Or maybe join the military (or Americorp, like my son) and attend college afterward, using funds from their service.

And no, I don't feel sorry for a mom who complains of paying money to let her darling eat at MT Holyoke college. What does she want to do, tax those of us who are frugal so her darling can get a high class degree?

It's called priorities.

Skipper said...

It's called growing into adult-hood from the ever expanding "adolescence". Starting at, say 15, grow up already.

Hyphenated American said...

This is complete nonsense. Just talk to Chinese graduate students who come to America with barely a penny in their pockets, a wife, and 1-2 kids and yet survive and then go on to get great jobs.

Yap. And university meal plans were certainty over-priced. Leaving off-campus was much cheaper.

I came to America as a grad student from Russia.