Hunger among college students is a real thing. A survey done this year at Western Oregon University cited by the Washington Post found that 59 percent of students experienced hunger often enough to go a day or more without anything to eat. Roughly one third of students report going hungry. This is a relatively new problem and experts say it correlates to higher tuition costs due to state’s lowering support to universities.
If you experience hunger or you do not–it’s easy to see that making a choice between food and education is a decision that leaves students hurting either way.
That’s why “The Siskiyou” has compiled a list of ways to get free food–not always the most healthy– but at times available.
1) Check SOU Connect daily
This is the best way to score free food on campus. Many people go to the SOU events calendar like I did to find events. However, events aren’t always up to date on there. Instead, all events are listed on SOU Connect. They even give a description of the event and say what food the event will offer. This is how I was able to find out about Epic’s three night event in the library. Thursday they offered pizza and fries from Northwest Pizza, Friday they offered an assortment of meats, veggies, breads and dips and on Saturday they offered donuts and coffee. All I had to do for this free food was simply attend the event and be friendly, of course. There were seven events last week that offered free food and more this week, so stay tuned.
2) Make friends with a Residence Assistant (R.A.)
The dorms are where the majority of events are held for community building and to entice people to go, they offer free food of some sort. The best part is that anyone can attend. The only way to find out about these dorm events is though R.A.’s on campus. They aren’t listed on SOU Connect usually. Nikki Kahawai and Abbie Seubert. both R.A.’s let me know about three dorm events going on this week. I was able to attend two; Up to Snow Good and The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. The staff was super friendly and all I had to do was sign in. They primarily offered snacks and sweets like cookies, brownies, kettle corn, hot chocolate and coffee, which is why it is not number one on the list.
3) Use the Food Pantry on Campus
This one is number three on the list and is a very valuable resource. However, it should not be used unless one needs it. They require nothing except a name and student ID number. Faith Mitchell, head of the Food pantry says, “If you’re hungry please come get food.” She also mentioned that if a student is in a greater need for food, they can refer them to the Ashland Emergency Food Bank for more resources.
4) Attend Mar’s nights at Omar’s ever Wednesday night
This one is my personal favorite and why not? Free food, cheap beer and a bunch of college kids trying to forget about school. This one is so low on the list because you do have to be twenty one to attend. However, if one is twenty one, they can indulge in a variety of fried goods. Some Mar’s night classics are fried Calamari, nugget rings and tots. Omar’s have many nights that they offer specials during. For more info visit Omar’s website.
5) Find Someone with extra Hawk passes or Raider Cash
Not the easiest or most reliable choice, however not a bad one. The Hawk offers a variety of food and it’s all you can eat. So, if you can find some extra Raider Cash or Hawk passes, this might be your best shot at a full meal.
Well, we here at “The Siskiyou” hope this helps you fellow college students struggling this time of year. If you work more than twenty hours per week or receive work study you may be eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Benefits, SNAP, formerly known as “Food Stamps.” Oregon’s website lays out who qualifies on their website.