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Delhaize-owned Food Lion has announced that it has opened a food pantry designed "to address student hunger issues" on the campus of Livingstone College in North Carolina, the fourth such college campus pantry that it has opened. There are more than 100 campus food pantries operating around the country.

Meg Ham, president of Food Lion, says in a prepared statement, "Food Lion is committed to working with local partners to help end hunger in our communities, and recent data from Feeding America suggests that nearly ten percent of food bank clients are college students.  By providing this support, we are able to help students bridge the hunger gap while in school."

"Students who don't live on campus have additional financial obligations to handle, and we're certain the food pantry will help ease challenges that may be associated with that," says Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. "It's no secret that a student with a healthy body and mind is more likely to perform better in the classroom than one who is deficient. We're grateful for any partnership that will help our students achieve success here at Livingstone."

According to the announcement, "Food Lion Feeds donated more than 5,000 meals to stock the shelves at the pantry before opening its doors to students today and had local store associates help prepare the pantry for the grand opening. The pantry is expected to serve approximately 225 students each week."
KC's View:
To be honest, I'm really surprised by this ... I had no idea that on-campus hunger was such a problem. (I remember late night munchies and driving out to Tommy's to get double chili cheeseburgers, but I think that is a different thing.) I'm fascinated by this - especially the "nearly ten percent of food bank clients are college students" number - and I spend enough time on college campuses that I think I'm going to start asking more questions about it.