Faced with the after effects of the economic downturn, along with the rising cost of tuition, more college students are going hungry.

Food Banks
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In response, college campuses across the U.S. have opened their own food pantries on site to keep students healthy and focused.

The Center for Food Action launched a site inside the Bergen Community College student center in June. Site manager Liza Pitz said the move was prompted by a pattern of students visiting the school's wellness center, feeling faint and light-headed.

"The need was recognized to be great enough that there needed to be a more formal pantry established on campus," Pitz said.

The pantry accepts appointments and referrals, as well as walk-ins. Students can show up once a month for food, and they're provided enough to feed their household for three to four days.

"A lot of students here are working and are full-time students here, and they're struggling to pay their bills and also to complete their education," Pitz said. "The average age of a student at Bergen Community College is actually 24 years old, so we have quite a few students who are heads of the household, who are parents raising children."

According to the College and University Food Bank Alliance, food insecurity has been a growing issue on campuses in the U.S. and can be a barrier to student success.

The College Board found tuition and fees at a public two-year institution in New Jersey rose from $2,802 to $4,434 since 2004-2005. Costs for a public four-year school jumped from $7,979 to $13,002.

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