The University of La Verne’s dining hall, The Spot, should be open for all students for take-out and outdoor seating options next semester due to high rates of food insecurity among ULV students.
The Spot is one of the most popular spots on campus due to its huge dining area and plenty of options for all meals of the day. However, this is not the only reason The Spot is popular with the students and faculty.
In fall of 2019, The Spot introduced commuter meal plans which helped commuting students with providing 10 good, affordable meals a week for those who do not live on campus. This is one of the best things the school has provided for its student body because most students at La Verne are commuters.
La Verne currently provides a meal plan option for commuting students that consist of a 500 Leo Dollar plan and a 100 meal plan for The Spot.
A pandemic should not stop the University from continuing with commuter meal plans that fed many of its students who did not live on campus. These students could still obtain their meals through the University by following safety guidelines and social distancing.
There are currently 1,120 students who rely on the Leo Food Pantry, according to a survey done by Aleah Reaza, senior biology major, in 2020, indicating that there are more students who suffer from food insecurity because people do not ask for help unless it is urgent.
The university has a duty to provide food for all its students, including commuters.
According to a survey study of over 38,000 students across the country by The Hope Center in 2020, 38 percent of students at four-year universities experience food insecurity.
The study also revealed that 33 percent of students have lost their job in the pandemic, thus contributing to the basic needs insecurity rate among college students.
According to The Hope Center Study, students of color have been particularly hard hit. There is a 19 percentage point difference between white and Black basic needs insecurity and a 10-percentage point difference between white and Latino basic needs insecurity.
According to Data USA for the University of La Verne, as of 2017, La Verne’s student population is 52 percent Latino and 7 percent Black.
As students return to campus in the fall, the University has a duty to help those hardest hit by the economic effects of the pandemic. One way to do that is for The Spot to be open for all students to help combat food insecurity within our community.