By Lisa Thornton - Charlotte Observer Correspondent
Food pantries are sprouting up on college campuses across the nation, part of an emerging trend that’s beginning to shed light on a subject with little data so far: hunger and food insecurity among the college crowd.
At UNC Charlotte, college officials launched the Niner Food Pantry in September. From 3 to 6 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays, students without university meal plans who live off-campus can make their way to Room 3135 in Colvard Building and select items from stocked shelves filled with donated nonperishable items, such as raisins, peanut butter and canned vegetables.
Food insecurity is hard to measure on college campuses, but most experts agree it exists to some degree.
A report last year from Feeding America, a national organization linked with 200 food pantries across the nation, estimated that college students make up 10 percent of their clients.