Hungry College Students Need Help (New York Times)

August 31, 2023

This piece originally appeared in the New York Times on August 29, 2023.

To the Editor:

Re “A Food Pantry That Keeps Hunger at Bay for Needy College Students,” by James Barron (New York Today newsletter,, Aug. 14):

Mr. Barron’s recent report about the Purple Pantry shines a powerful spotlight on a widely overlooked problem: food insecurity among college students. With a shocking one in three college students facing hunger, charitable programs like the Purple Pantry can only serve as temporary solutions to a systemic national economic and social crisis.

Federal safety net programs like SNAP provide the most effective and efficient response to college hunger, but I am deeply concerned that college students and others are falling off a hunger cliff now that emergency SNAP allotments are expiring and some in Congress want to limit these lifesaving benefits.

With Congress turning its attention to the 2023 Farm Bill, this is a critical opportunity to enact the Enhance Access to SNAP Act and other sensible anti-hunger policies that seek to remove harmful and burdensome “work for food” rules.

Abby J. Leibman
Los Angeles
The writer is the president and chief executive of the nonprofit MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

A version of this article appears in print on Aug. 30, 2023, Section A, Page 19 of the New York edition with the headline: Trucks, Cars, Bikes Battling for Space.