By: Lyndsay Charlton
There is a problem in Prince Edward Island that often goes unseen. It may start modestly like waking up at noon to avoid breakfast, and then it turns into missing meals altogether. Food insecurity is something that affects all of us to varying degrees. Food insecurity is defined not only as a lack of food, but also lack of access to quality foods.
Eating well is tough when budgets are already tight. The act of balancing school, part-time jobs, and relationships make it hard to find time to strategize meals. Food choices at UPEI are also lacking, which raises the question: Are we acknowledging the different dietary restrictions of our student body? Having choice is important, and right now choice is not an option for so many students.
I don’t often overhear students talking about food insecurity; but it’s undeniably true that in student culture eating a diet of Mr. Noodles and Kraft Dinner is treated like a right of passage. We can all relate to days where our brain fog and lack of stamina makes it hard to pay attention in class. Food plays a large role in that. So why can’t we foster a community that supports looking after ourselves?
I worry that these food patterns don’t change after graduation. Being a student is a busy time, but it won’t be the only time in our lives that are busy. We need to find solutions together that allow students to live a lifestyle that supports their bodies and minds. In order to do so, I think we need to destigmatize being food insecure and open up the conversation. Food insecurity is adding to the stress of student’s lives. It’s a reality that we joke about, but it’s taking a toll on our well-being.
This article belongs to The Cadre’s opinion section. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Cadre.
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