LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Students plan to rally on the steps of the state capitol Wednesday, to try and put an end to hunger, and to encourage new legislation called the Hunger Free Campus Act.
If passed by lawmakers, it would provide a range of food resources, like an on-campus food bank for those in need.
Spencer Good, Co-founder of the Spartan Food Security Council will help host the event. “I hear time and time again from students that they face food insecurity and that manifests in a number of ways, some students don’t have the financial means to acquire food others are deterred by physical barriers,” Good said.
According to Good, two out of every five students at Michigan State face food insecurity – and that is only going to get worse, due to factors like rising inflation rates and the lack of affordable housing.
Good said MSU could benefit from the Hunger Free Campus Act by establishing a meal swipe transfer program.
“It’s difficult to be a college student in today’s age, for a number of reasons, but from my experience, and speaking with other students- it seems that affordability is the largest barrier,” Good said.
Julia Ruth, Advocacy Organizer from Swipe Out Hunger said, the act will focus on policy at first, and then go into specific resources each campus needs.
Ruth said solutions for other campuses across Michigan could be implementing resource centers, food pantries, and more.
“We know if yore thinking about where your next meal is gonna come from and thinking about when you have time and ability to get groceries and financial stress and thinking about other kind of things you’re dealing with, you’re not able to really focus on school and be able to focus on having the full experience and prioritize your education,” Ruth said.
According to Ruth, the bill is meant to be a capacity builder and they will then build off the individual and unique needs of each campus
Ruth expects the policy and program portion of the bill to be introduced this month.