By Neal Falcone
College Students cannot pay for lunch because of high food prices at Community colleges. It has come to the attention of many staff members at the Ammerman Campus that many students have been going through school days without eating. This ultimately is a big ordeal because of the fact that students don’t have enough energy to stay awake in class and participate in class activities.
After talking to the Cashier at the Cafeteria she told me that “Typically students pay for lunch more often with credit cards then with cash”. This leads us to believe that most students do not always have cash on them which results in students not eating during their classes. When i asked Anna the cashier if she has ever had students come up to the register and not have enough money to buy lunch she answered “Students tell me that they don’t have enough money, but i think they have better things to spend it on”. College students typically do not have a lot of money because they have to pay for tuition, car payments, rent and other things other than Cafeteria food at College. Anna stated that she often notices a good majority of students bringing in bagged lunch to try and save money and still be energized and alert for class. For some time students at the Ammerman campus have taken action to produce a Meal plan at the Student Center Cafeteria. The cashier has shared with us that after working at two different community colleges within the past ten years that she has never heard of a Community college with a meal plan. Anna told us that only Universities with on campus housing participate in meal plans because most students on those campus’s do not have jobs.Students that go away to College have little options other than their on campus cafeteria due to the fact that most of them don’t have jobs and can’t afford to buy food from other places other then the cafeteria. Students at Suffolk county Community college had different opinions about adding a meal plan to our cafeteria. Donald Rice a current student at Suffolk Community College informed us that a meal plan would not be necessary at a community college because most students are not even present on campus for more than a couple hours a day. He has been enrolled in Suffolk Community College For three semesters and has stated “I have never eaten at the cafeteria on both Ammerman and Grant campus’s” even with a packed out schedule of 18 credits a semester. Another point that Donald brought up was that students who did not eat at the cafeteria would still have to pay extra for tuition for a meal plan they won’t ever use. Another student had a different opinion on whether or not we should create a meal plan at this school. This person requested to remain anonymous, she has been attending the Ammerman campus for two years and eats at the Cafeteria everyday. She informed me that out of five days a week of eating at the cafeteria four out of the five she uses her credit card to pay. ” I Just don’t have enough cash every week to feed myself at school, i have to use my card or else ill be hungry all day” said this student. She said that her and a couple of friends brought this idea to the student Government and they have yet to find an answer.
Presidents at the Ammerman campus has had little planning to create a Meal plan for students to use at the cafeteria, but with enough help and support students can find a way to make it happen. With the help of students and staff at the Ammerman Campus a meal plan can be created to help students be able eat throughout a long school day.