Letter to the Editor: End Campus Hunger

by Audrey Scott | 6/22/18 2:10am

Last week, Harvard professor Dr. Anthony Abraham Jack visited the College to discuss the growing food insecurity epidemic within higher education. He, like many of today’s students, lacked an adequate supply of nutritious, affordable food in college. During his talk, the audience affirmed his call to end campus hunger. No one transitioned to discuss solutions.

At Dartmouth, food insecurity is surprisingly common, especially during breaks and when DBA runs dry. How common? We aren’t sure. Little research exists. Talking about the issue, however, can illuminate its prevalence. For example, a friend recently paid for his summer rent and travel costs. When his DBA hit zero, he had no money in his account or in his wallet. He relied on free meals and his friends’ DBA to eat.

Creative solutions exist. Students at Cornell University organized and operate Anabel’s Grocery, which offers on-campus groceries to all students. Goods are set at two prices, a subsidized and unsubsidized version, and students are allocated subsidies based on demonstrated need. Anabel’s Grocery automatically and anonymously charges students the correct price for the goods by using the students’ IDs. It makes affordable food accessible; it cures hunger.

Solutions like Anabel’s are easy to implement and cost-effective. They require structural changes to Collis Market pricing but are more efficient than other solutions. To advocate for a similar option at Dartmouth, email Student Assembly representatives and ask for a partnership with Collis Market and the administration to adjust prices to create our own “Anabel’s Grocery.” Let’s starve out campus hunger.

Audrey Scott

Scott is a member of the Class of 2019.