Albuquerque, New Mexico – 60% of undergraduate and graduate students attending public universities in New Mexico are food insecure, according to a new survey.
Now, new funding from the state’s Department of Higher Education makes helping them a little easier.
Like a clockwork, the Robo Food Pantry runs every Monday through Thursday from 11am to 5pm, providing college students with meals they may not otherwise have been served.
“I have a lot of passion for this job just because of my personal experience as a K-12 student, and I had some great people helping me access these resources.” , says Amanda Martinez, Basic Needs Specialist.
This work has a special meaning for Martinez. Martinez sees food insecurity among many students every day.
“Students say they can’t concentrate in class if their bellies are rumbling. They can’t concentrate, they feel like they’re going crazy, and they worry if the person next to them can hear their stomach growling,” says Martinez. say.
The pantry is funded by donations, but students keep coming in.
“We’ve done a basic needs survey statewide, and we’ve got a huge number of numbers that show this is a real problem worth noting,” Martinez said.
Martinez says having a full stomach has a direct impact on a student’s success.
“I don’t want my students to feel like they didn’t reach their full potential because they were hungry, or that they didn’t find the resources that everyone should have and deserve,” Martinez said. increase.
With the stats on hand, the New Mexico Department of Higher Education is jumping in to help. The department has given his $1 million to colleges in New Mexico to support on-campus food and nutrition projects.
“That money goes to these resources. So we have both food and personal hygiene here, and they go just as fast. You can leave it on,” says Martinez.
Funding will be distributed to all New Mexico colleges and universities, including Eastern, New Mexico Highlands University, NMSU, and various community colleges.
The 2023 College Basic Needs Study – NMHED, Gov. Roujan Grisham’s food initiative, and UNM’s Basic Needs Project researchers in partnership with over 15,000 students, faculty and staff at 27 public universities A survey was conducted on the New Mexico is one of the first states to lead a statewide college basic needs survey that focuses on all populations on college campuses.
According to survey responses, 60% of undergraduate and graduate students attending public colleges and universities in New Mexico self-identify as food insecure, and 63% of students report housing insecurity. I am reporting there is. Nearly 20% of students report being homeless in the last 12 months. Anxiety about basic needs was higher for students attending community colleges than for students attending four-year colleges. Students of color were more likely to experience basic needs anxiety, as were students in the LGBTQ+ community.