Pass the Florida Hunger Free Campus Act
Dear Chair Gruters, Chair Buchanan, Vice Chair Chaney and Vice Chair Jones,
Pre and post pandemic surveys The Hope Center For Justice at Temple University showed that over 1 in 3 college students in our country fight food insecurity as they work to earn their degree.
This crisis of college student food insecurity doesn’t stop at Florida’s door step. According to school reporting, on average 40% of students at Miami Dade College, 47% of students at Florida Atlantic University, 29% of students at University of South Florida and more than 20% of students at the University of Florida struggle with hunger and food insecurity.
These numbers and experiences have likely only grown since the pandemic has wreaked economic havoc on Florida families and students. As we create an economic recovery plan for all of the Sunshine State, it needs to include basic needs resources for students so that they can graduate and thrive. With a small investment in Florida students today we can build a stronger Florida tomorrow, one comprised of self-reliant communities who equipped with their higher education degrees create jobs, business, and thriving communities.
As a state that prides itself on being a higher education leader, it’s on all of us to make sure that students don’t go hungry. One way that you can help us end hunger on our state’s campuses is by passing and adding your name as a co-sponsor to the Hunger Free Campus bill, introduced by Sen. Annette Taddeo as SB. 1916 and Rep. Susan Valdés as HB. 1407, this legislative session.
Similar legislation has been successful in more than five other states to help reduce food insecurity rates on campuses and create systemic changes in order to provide students with the basic resources that they need to succeed.
We ask that you show your constituents and colleagues your support our students by putting Hunger Free Campus on your committee meeting agenda. This will provide a path for the future leaders of our state to grow, learn, and thrive without having to choose between food and their degree.
Thank you for your time and attention.