How student food insecurity is being met


The Stand offers items ranging from instant ramen to non-perishable items. Photo Credit: Jade Cole

Rosanne Bangalan, Staff Writer

Stress is inevitable for college students these days and it can manifest itself in many ways from the workload of one’s classes to personal troubles. Another big issue that might spark stress for students is food insecurity. 

According to a survey done by Inside Higher Ed, 48 percent of community college students have reported facing food insecurity. Here at Mesa, free food programs have been established in order to aid those in need. 

The Stand is one of many food programs on campus that are open and free to all students. Located in the Student Services building in room I4-205, students can find items ranging from instant ramen, toiletries, and even business professional attire. 

All of the clothes have been donated by faculty and staff, ensuring that all items have been gently used and can be used in professional settings. In order to be able to use any item from The Stand, students must be registered in at least one class and carry in their school ID to use as a “debit card.” Additionally, women can receive free feminine hygiene products that have been donated from outside sources. 

As previously mentioned, The Stand is free, but works on a point-based system. Different colored items are priced at different points; red items are priced at one point and blue items are priced at the maximum of three points. Each student is given 100 points every semester and is advised to use them as soon as they can since the points cannot be rolled over once they have expired. If a student runs out of points, Student Equity offers additional help as long as students fill out paperwork and a general background to get a better understanding of their specific needs. 

The Stand offers other food programs like the Mobile Market, Pop-Up Market, and the Farmer’s Market. The Stand does not carry fresh fruits and vegetables, which is what makes these markets stand out. These three programs are free to all students and are not based on a point system. Students are encouraged to bring their own bags and may take as much fresh fruit, vegetables, and non-perishable items as they please.  

The Mobile Market is available every first Monday at 1 p.m. and is located outside the Business Technology building. The Pop-Up Market is open every Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. outside the Student Services building. The Farmer’s Market is every third Thursday at noon on the Commons Breezeway. The Farmer’s Market also offers community service hours to any student who is available for about 45 minutes. 

Since 2017, The Stand has been greatly utilized by students throughout the years. An employee at The Stand, Robyn Bolden, states that The Stand has helped 1,333 students since its start and that number continues to grow. 

“We do not want our students to worry about the insecurity of not having food, therefore we try to supply them in any means possible,” Bolden says. 

Funding for The Stand is through Student Equity and donations. Since its growth, there has been a decline in donations; donations back in 2017 amounted to $7,709 and went down to $3,556.28 from last year. If any student or staff is interested in donating, The Stand accepts in-person or electronic donations. Donations online can be found on The Stand tab of the Mesa website?, after clicking on the Student Services and Student Equity link.