It's sort of a running joke that college students live off nothing but cheap ramen noodles during their college careers because they're perpetually broke. While the reference is good for a chuckle or two because it's true and everyone can relate, there are a large number of college students attending universities right here in Evansville over the course of a year who know first hand that trying to afford food is no laughing matter.

A 2018 report by the Government Accountability report reviewed 31 studies regarding food insecurity among college students, and while the studies did not provide an average number of students who were dealing with those insecurities, it did note "over 650 colleges reported having a food pantry on campus" to assist students in need. It doesn't take a college degree to realize if that many exist, the number of students who need them is large.

The reason for the insecurity varies. Obviously, for many college students, it could be they're attending school away from home and mom and dad can't always send them money, or they have families of their own they need to feed as well. According to research by Feeding America, citing the aforementioned Government Accountability report, 71% of college students are considered "non-traditional," meaning they are trying to balance going to school part-time while working full-time and have dependents, among other things. All of which can be a strain financially, especially when the cost of attending college is factored in.

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The Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library is looking to help students who are dealing with food insecurity right here in the Tri-State by collecting non-perishable food items, and they need your help to make it happen. Donation boxes have been set up at each branch where you can drop off donations as part of their "Our Summer: Read is Delicious" program. Simply stop by and alert whoever is at the front desk you're making a donation, and they'll point you in the right direction. All donations will be evenly distributed between Archie's Food Closet at USI, Aces Haven at UE, and Ivy's Closet at Ivy Tech.

To sweeten the deal, the EVPL is also giving you the opportunity to register for prizes with each donated item.

Find the branch nearest you on the EVPL website.

[Source: EVPL / Government Accountability Office / Feeding America]

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