Food for thought: Closing the college-diet gap

Black and white photo of students in cafeteria.

This post is written by Luna Collins, who is currently serving with The Vermont Foodbank this year as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Growing, cooking, sharing, and eating food are among her favorite activities—especially when they create opportunities to bring people together. For those reasons and because she hopes to promote equity and community resilience through her work, Luna studied sustainable and just food systems education at Green Mountain College and soon found her way into my current role at the Vermont Foodbank. As Outreach Systems Specialist, she is working on capacity-building projects to support the 3SVT outreach team in their effort to connect more people in southern VT to food assistance.

As a student, I was jealous of those who lived off campus and had the freedom to prepare their own food, but I also felt lucky to have full access to the dining hall. Occasionally, I helped students without a meal plan sneak in through the backdoor, or tossed a couple apples over the dining hall balcony to hungry friends below.

Many people assume a connection between scrimping and going to college, and they are not entirely wrong. Ramen is often seen as a rite of passage, although this image points to a deeper issue. False stereotypes often portray a student “indulging” in cheap, i