San Diego

UC San Diego Solving Food Insecurity On Campus with New App Feature

It’s getting tougher and tougher for college students to make ends meet while also trying to get good grades, so UC San Diego launched a new app feature it hopes will help keep students’ stomachs full.

There’s a farmer’s market on campus at UC San Diego every Tuesday, but the sad reality is with the cost of living and tuition, some of these students can’t afford one of these meals on a daily basis.

A recent study out of Temple University revealed more than 45 percent of college students were what’s called food insecure, meaning they couldn’t afford a meal within the past month.

“I really need to calculate how much I need to spend on my grocery, on my textbook, and my rent,” UC San Diego’s Triton Food Pantry Manager, and student, Sherlock Li said.

That’s why Sherlock is happy his school unveiled a new service through the campus’s smartphone app that tells students when there are free leftovers at campus events. The app tells students when an event is over and there are more than 50 meals available.

“Not only are we helping students who need some extra food, but we’re reducing food waste,” Li said.

The app feature is satisfying for Li, who manages the campus’s food pantry which allows students to come get extra food at any time, no questions asked.

UC San Diego’s efforts to reduce hunger and food waste is appreciated by parents, too.

Lesa Ghalil looks to turn a profit selling juice and succulents at Papa’s Garden at the weekly farmer’s market. But even she realizes not all the students can be customers every day.

“I know the cost of food is very expensive,” Ghalil said. Even her own children have been forced to skip meals, “So, I am quite aware of the struggles,” she added.

Ghalil thinks the new app feature is a great idea.

“I’m happy to know that, number one, the food is not going to waste, and number two, it’s going to people who need it the most,” she said.

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