In an interview with The Daily Eastern News on Oct. 31 2018, Michael Gillespie, a member on the EIU Hunger Action Team and a sociology professor, said he collected data that showed that 39.8 percent of students, of the 344 students who responded to the survey, showed signs of food insecurity.
In the same interview, he said the data also showed that 86.1 percent of the 344 students that responded said they worried about running out of food, 88.3 percent could not afford to eat balanced meals and 81.6 percent cut the size or skipped meals because of money.
To bring attention to this, as November rolls in to Eastern, so does Hunger Action Month.
This is a month to talk about the issues surrounding college students and their often-complicated relationship with food.
Despite the food shelters around Charleston and campus, students still are not always seeking help, even if they especially need it.
There are certain stigmas around going to places like the Food Pantry that need to stop.
If you learn anything from this month, learn that you are not alone.
So many students are walking around campus without knowing when and where their next meal will be.
There is no reason to feel shame or hesitation in looking around and taking advantage of the places that are set up to help you.
The stigma around this is deadly and ridiculous, and the only way to get rid of it is to not be ashamed when asking for help.
For your sake, and for the sake of your fellow students currently going through the same struggles, you need to start standing up and taking help in the hopes that others will follow in your footsteps.
College is hard enough when you know where your food is coming from; it can feel almost impossible when your brain is consumed with the worries of how to feed yourself.
Stand together and support each other, destroy stigmas and do what you need to do to survive.