College students helping themselves.

The Big Blue Cupboard at University of Nebraska-Kearney (Photo Credit: 1011now.com)

Imagine this. You’re in college, working a part-time job along with doing work from the six classes you’re taking. Your parents help pay for your tuition, but you pay for room and board which alone is all you can manage to afford without spending money on other things you need. By the time you get off work, the dining halls are either closed or you didn’t have enough money to buy a meal anyway. There would be no need to worry though, because you could simply go to a location on campus that has free food.

Sounds like a dream right? Students at the University of Nebraska-Kearney have made this dream a reality. An article from Nebraska Central News describes how students and members of the community have developed a program that provides food for students in need. The program is called The Big Blue Cupboard and exists due to donations from the community and students themselves. The Cupboard is located in the student union, and students can access it at any time during operational hours.

The article says the program is not meant to help with constant hunger. Monica Mueller, the UNK Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs describes it as providing those couple of meals that students are unable to eat throughout the week. The reason why some students are unable to eat vary from working late and coming home to closed dining halls, or the fact that they may not get paid at the end of the month and need some extra help.

I find this whole concept very interesting, and I wonder if many students there actually take advantage of it. The idea sounds great, but my problem with it is that I could see every student taking advantage of it, even ones who don’t need any help to get by. However, the fact that the community and the students themselves are willing to help one another is heartwarming. As I always find myself portraying the prime example of a broke college student, I would definitely take advantage of this.

Eat a chewy bar, help a starving child.

Two Degrees Bars (Photo Credit: Bridget Tong/thecollegianur.com)

A recent article in The Collegianur, the student paper at the University of Richmond, discussed how Two Degrees Food has come to its campus, and why it’s gaining popularity. Two Degrees Food is a company that was formed in 2010, and works with universities to sell its products.

The company sells nutritious food bars, but it comes with a catch: for every food bar you buy, they donate one meal to a child in need. So far, the company is working with 70 universities and the idea is extremely popular among students. The food bars cost around two dollars, and the number of students buying them continues to increase. The fact that college kids know they are helping a hungry child gives them incentive to buy the food.

According to the article, Two Degrees is one of the first “buy one, get one” food companies and it is continuing to gain support. Another plus is that the bars are supposedly delicious. The company has sold around 450,000 bars, and has a goal of 200 million.

If Two Degrees Food hopes to achieve that goal, it is going to have to start spreading to even more college campuses. I think the business would be popular at Towson, as well as many other schools. Who wouldn’t want to spend two dollars on a delicious and nutritious chewy bar, knowing that you’re helping a starving child? To know that you helped someone who may have gotten sick or died without that one meal would be unbelievable. Even more unbelievable would be to know you helped that child by simply buying a chewy bar.

The company was inspired by TOMS, the popular trend where the company donates a pair of shoes to a child in need, for every pair sold. Towson already has a TOMS campus program, so the next step forward would be to add a Two Degrees program.

To learn more about Two Degrees Food, check out their website.

We need food trucks!

Random food truck (Photo credit: lasnark.com)

In the three years that I have attended Towson, I have always wondered why I have never seen a permanent food truck on campus. Food trucks are pretty much the busy college student’s dream. Imagine how easy it would be to grab lunch in between classes by simply getting a quick and filling meal without having to walk inside a building.

Many big-city universities have food trucks, and it is a growing trend that has always been popular. The University of Pennsylvania is most known for their food trucks. The campus has numerous food trucks, each with their own type of food. They range from Mexican to Jamaican to Middle-Eastern, and even one with just fruit. The trucks have become so popular; they even have their own website.

So why doesn’t Towson have any food trucks? With a school of over 20,000 students, it would seem convenient to set up at least two food trucks on opposite sides of campus. There could also be one in the center of campus. One of the reasons is that with all of the construction going on, food trucks are the last thing on anyone’s mind. The addition of the West Village Commons and all of the new dining facilities may also be a reason.

Although many may not have food trucks on their mind, as a lover of food I believe it should be a priority. For students who don’t like to waste time for a sit-down lunch, food trucks would be a brilliant idea and it would be a great option for commuters who don’t have meal plans. A normal food truck offers food at reasonable prices, which would be popular with students trying to save money. Another plus would be that the food quality would be better than campus dining options, and would probably be a lot healthier.

More students across America are trying to get food trucks on their campuses as well. A recent letter in the Daily Targum, the Rutger’s University newspaper, explained some more positives about the addition of food trucks.

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