February 2, 2018 | Manny V. Martinez | Leave a comment Northwest Vista College is now accepting donations for the Vista Hunger Relief Drive. Proceeds raised will benefit NVC students experiencing food insecurity. Those interested in donating electronically can do so by visiting www.Alamo.edu/NVC/HUNGER Cash or checks can be hand-delivered to Lynne Dean in Manzanillo Hall,104G. Contributions of any amount are welcome. A donation box is also located in the campus bookstore. Why does this matter? Food insecurity in our society is a silent struggle that is seldom seen or openly discussed. It can be particularly challenging for community college students balancing school, work, family and other factors of life. Many Northwest Vista College employees can attest to the fact that the NVC student community is not immune to this reality. Various faculty and staff across campus report regularly encountering students needing assistance obtaining access to food. College vendors, such as the cafeteria and bookstore, report also frequently meeting individuals struggling to feed themselves while on campus. A recent report by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab titled, Hungry and Homeless in College: Results from a National Study of Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education, collected data from 70 community colleges in 24 states, which included San Antonio College, to assess the current climate of housing and food insecurity among 2-year institutions of higher education. Results found that 2 in 3 community college students are food insecure; meaning they have a “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, or the ability to acquire such foods in a socially acceptable manner.” While Northwest Vista College does make available financial aid, scholarships and awards to help economic insecurities among students, it is challenging to reach everyone based on limited funding, federal regulations or numerous biographical factors. According to the San Antonio Food Bank, Texas itself is ranked 2nd in the nation for food insecurity with 1 in 6 living in food insecure homes. Additionally, since San Antonio College started its food pantry about a year ago, it has had a little more than 600 students utilize it. Students are allowed to get food essentials twice a month. Pamela Frias of SAC’s Student Advocacy Center said often they have lines of students at the end of the month stocking up on food. She said in addition to providing food, social work student volunteers also help in giving out information to resources in the community.