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‘I can’t afford groceries’: why a third of US college students don’t have enough food | Wednesday



for Anthony Meng, an undergrad at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, food insecurity can take many forms. On some days, that means skipping meals as he rushes to work or class. On others: “It’s like I don’t think I can afford groceries,” he said. “Which is sometimes hard to say, but that’s the reality of the situation.”

Meng, 22, gets out of bed every morning around 9 or 10 am. His schedule is usually filled with lectures and extracurricular activities. More often than not, Meng sets off for the day with nothing more than a muesli bar in hand, if anything at all.

Fortunately, there is a place on campus where he can find refuge: the Food Resource Center, a favorite meeting place for students and staff, where they can stock up on fresh food and groceries for free. Funded by donations, grants and tuition fees, the center also offers ready meals, microwave ovens to heat them up, and sofas and TVs for people to gather, eat and hang out.

“This is a campus area where I can find more than just solace,” Meng said. “The fact that I can go get a hot meal […] it means the whole world.”

Shelves are filled with food and supplies at the Hamline University Food Resource Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. The center serves as a public space where students and faculty can get free food without asking questions. Photographer: Brooklyn T. Cassel/The Guardian.

Pantries like the Food Resource Center are an increasingly popular resource as food insecurity persists among college students. Latest grades put the number of pantries on campus is about 800, most of them created in the last decade.

Based on 2020 data survey of more than 195,000 students nationwide conducted by the Hope Center at Temple University, nearly 30% of four-year college students reported being food insecure. For those who attended two-year colleges, this figure was even higher – almost 40%. With changes to the requirements for students to participate in federally funded hunger relief programs due in May, supporters say things could get worse.

MEast Hamline students, including Maine, schedule their visits to the Food Resource Center on delivery days, Wednesdays and Fridays. After the food donation trucks pull away, the aisles of the center begin to fill with a mix of staples and surprise treats, from superb groceries to Trader Joe’s many unsold snacks.

For the past two years, Meng has not received financial assistance from his family to pay for tuition or rent, so he works at H&M on the weekends to pay for his studies and meet basic needs. Being able to get free food on campus without asking questions means it’s a little easier to focus on just being a student.

Anthony Man from Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota.  Maine, an undergraduate student at Hamline, is the Student Food Access Coordinator at the Food Resource Center, where students and staff can get free meals.
Anthony Man from Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Maine, an undergraduate student at Hamline, is the Student Food Access Coordinator at the Food Resource Center, where students and staff can get free meals. Photographer: Brooklyn T. Cassel/The Guardian.

The Maine menu includes fresh fruit, eggs and Khmer ingredients such as fish sauce and coconut milk. He will also take cooked food to eat later, after long dance rehearsals that take up the rest of the day. For students who cannot come to the center in person, there is a grocery delivery service. During Ramadan, the center extended its opening hours until 9pm so observant Muslim students can grab a bite to eat after breaking their fast.

Despite high levels of hunger, students are having difficulty accessing the Supplemental Food Assistance Program (Snap), a federally funded famine relief program that gives people monthly food allowances. Since the 1980s, part-time school attendees have largely been excluded from Snap. because of anxiety that students from affluent families will draw on public resources rather than help from their families.

So instead of qualifying for the Snap program based on asset and income requirements—as most Americans do—college students must also work at least 20 hours a week, a requirement that hunger advocates see as burdensome and unreasonable. for those who go to school. lessons and school assignments every day. Supporters argue that the strict selection rules for full-time students are based on outdated ideas about who attends higher education. In the decades since these restrictions were introduced, the proportion of university students from low-income families has steadily increased. Based on a 2019 Pew Research study. studythe number of undergraduate students from poor backgrounds was about 20%, a jump of over 50% over the previous two decades.

Yet despite the changing profile of “typical” college students, lawmakers have done little to update Snap’s eligibility rules to reflect their current economic realities.

Kyler Daniels, 27, goes grocery shopping with her daughter Nova in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, on April 26. Daniels, who is pursuing a master’s degree in social work and works full-time, expects to lose Snap’s fringe benefits in the pandemic era. Photographer: Rachel Jessen/The Guardian

During the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government has temporarily lifted the 20-hour work requirement for students. But after the public health emergency declaration expired in May, Snap’s rules will soon return to pre-pandemic standards. According to one study, the exceptions to the Pandemic Snap program for students allowed an additional 3 million people to enroll in the program, which would not be there otherwise. Now many of them will find themselves without the food money they depended on for three years.

“Often the general public thinks of college students as 18- or 19-year-olds continuing their high school education,” said Jaime Hansen, executive director of Swipe Out Hunger, an organization that advocates policies to reduce food insecurity among students. students. “It’s not the majority anymore.”

However, the archetype of the typical college student, who can draw resources from the family and devote all his time to his studies, persists.

Kyler Daniels, a 27-year-old mother and student, knows this intimately. Daniels lives in Rocky Mount, North Carolina with his daughter and boyfriend. While pursuing a master’s degree in social work part-time and remotely, she also works full-time for a local nonprofit that supports children.

As a parent, she always thinks about food security. Her family relies on food stamps, but when we talked in March, she was preparing to cut them after the recent cancellation of additional pandemic benefits. She complements the grocery store with food boxes from the local church or the occasional free meal at work. She tries to feed her daughter with fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible, and also tries not to overpay.

Daniels says she regularly faces a lack of empathy from professors and administrators regarding the challenges of balancing education with fatherhood and a career. Situations like hers are often seen as unusual or abnormal, she said, and she often encounters resistance when she asks for accommodations that help her balance her roles as mother and worker.

“Moms, families, just people who have other things to do besides school — I just want people to take it more seriously,” she said.

Kyler Daniels, 27, outside her home with her four-year-old daughter Nova in Rocky Mount, North Carolina.
Kyler Daniels, 27, outside her home with her four-year-old daughter Nova in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Photographer: Rachel Jessen/The Guardian

IOver the past decades, researchers have discovered countless ways in which hunger harms academic achievement: it can impair student achievement. focus; it can lead to poverty mental healthand serve as a strong predictor of depression and anxiety; and it can even interfere with the students ending and receiving their degrees in general.

Hamline’s Meng isn’t on Snap but knows many peers who are already gearing up for the end of their benefits. In recent months, there have been disturbing hints in some campus grocery stores that food insecurity is already on the rise.

Alex Silver, 21, student food pantry director at the University of Washington. More than 3,600 people visited the pantry in the fall quarter of 2022, more than double the demand for the same period in 2019. This can be partly explained by the expansion of reach and marketing. However, Silver notes that the pantry itself is struggling to keep up with the rapid growth in demand.

In February, the pantry was visited by over 400 people in one week – a threshold never seen before. Hindered by high demands and high costs, the pantry had to go into detail about how she spends the funds, which all come from donations. Previously, canned food in the pantry included spam, beets, and carrots. It has now been replaced by rows and rows of canned corn. It used to be able to offer basic hygiene items such as toilet paper, shampoo and tampons in addition to groceries – all of that is gone too. To ensure the shelves don’t run out as soon as the pantry opens, food must be distributed through a points-based system that takes into account the calorie content and nutritional value of each food.

Kyler Daniels, 27, opens the ukulele her mother bought for Daniels' daughter, Nova, at their home.
Kyler Daniels, 27, opens the ukulele her mother bought for Daniels’ daughter, Nova, at their home. Photographer: Rachel Jessen/The Guardian

“[People] they come not only for themselves, but maybe for their whole family, ”Silver said. “It is very difficult for us to have enough food for everyone, definitely not enough for everyone to get what they need.

Silver noted that the high demand is indicative of a much broader problem that charities cannot solve alone. “For us, the main issue is that many people hope or expect the food pantry to be the solution to food insecurity on our campus. And we just haven’t reached and probably never will reach the point where it could be our function. But we can help weaken its influence in every possible way.”

Other food pantries on campuses across the country are experiencing similar difficulties, caught between rising demand and falling food donations. Looking to the summer and fall, activists and students alike are concerned that food insecurity could rise sharply as access to support like Snap becomes more difficult again.

“To be honest, we are very concerned,” Hansen said. “Many of the pandemic resources that supported students in achieving their higher education goals are fading into the background. […] So we’re very worried about what the next couple of months will look like for our students.”


Who was Rube Goldberg and what are Rube Goldberg machines?



Rube Goldberg, born in San Francisco in 1883, was originally an engineer. In 1904 he graduated from the College of Mining at the University of California at Berkeley.

For six months he mapped water and sewer lines until he couldn’t take it anymore. He then took a low-paying job drawing cartoons for the San Francisco Chronicle.

“What he cared about the most was whether he made you laugh,” said his granddaughter Jennifer George, who we spoke to in 2018. Her 2013 book:Art by Rube Goldberg,” describes his extensive output of cartoons, writing and even sculpture until his death in 1970.

Goldberg left California for New York in 1907 and was hired by the New York Evening Mail. One of his early cartoons for a newspaper featured a badly injured man falling from a 50-story building and a woman asking, “Are you in pain?” The man replied: “No, I sleep with my beauty.”

It was a hit, and over the next two years he drew 449 more in the Silly Questions series. Readers loved to send suggestions.

He also created a TV series called I’m a Guy. It featured statements such as “I’m the guy who put the bum in Hoboken” and “I’m the guy who put the sand in the sandwich”, which started a national fad.

Among his cartoon characters was Bub McNutt.who always managed to screw up when he tried to help someone.

Drawings of Goldberg’s inventions began in 1912 and made him a household name, according to exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco.

The first of his complex devices was “Simple mosquito repellentclassic Rube Goldberg machine. A mosquito climbs in through a window, walks along a board strewn with small pieces of steak, passes out from the chloroform fumes from a sponge, and falls onto the platform. He wakes up, looks through a spyglass to see the bald head’s reflection in the mirror, and jumps off a diving board in fear, killing himself when it hits the mirror, falling dead into a jar.

For the next 20 years, Goldberg delivered a new car to Rube Goldberg about every two weeks. He continued less frequently until 1964.

Hey invented character Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Buttswho created his own machines to open screen doors, shine shoes, and find soap that has fallen out of the tub. According to The Art of Rube Goldberg, the character was inspired by two professors Goldberg found particularly boring at the College of Mining: Samuel B. Christie, who lectured extensively on the efficiency of time and motion, and Frederick Slate. who once showed students the “barodic”, an intricate machine designed to measure the weight of the earth.

The invention cartoons satirized the “complex world of machines,” wrote Adam Gopnik in the book’s preface, poking fun at “the broader idea of ​​efficiency.” Gopnik wrote that Goldberg had “the poetic intuition of all great cartoonists”.

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Inside the first deep sea dive in history | The science



Bathysphere on deck Ready1930-1934, with Bathysphere and more
Wildlife Conservation Society / Reproduced with permission from the Wildlife Conservation Society archives.

Early on the morning of June 11, 1930, a barge named Ready, carrying employees of the Department of Tropical Research, sailed off the coast of Nonsuch Island in the Bermuda archipelago. Men in white sailor caps and overalls gathered around a four-and-a-half-foot-tall steel ball called a bathysphere as a huge winch hauled it up from the deck. The men stabilized the ball as it rolled outward, dangling over the surface of the sea. It had three forward-facing holes, tightly clustered together like eyes. Suspended and swinging from a cable, he seemed to be looking down at the choppy water.

The Bathysphere will be the first submersible to take people into the depths of the ocean. The plan was to drop him several times in the same place, descending lower and lower, studying the column of water directly below him. What creatures lived below? In what numbers? Will populations shrink as they move inland? The ocean was so vast and unexplored that any understanding that could be gained would mean an epoch-making expansion of biological knowledge.

DTR scientist Gloria Hollister watched winches lower a steel ball into the sea. When he splashed down and disappeared, she sat up, picked up the canvas-bound notebook that served as the expedition’s journal, and prepared herself.

In the photographs, she is shown with a concentrated expression on her face, a telephone receiver in the shape of an old hunting horn is attached to her neck, and a small speaker is pressed to her right ear. She lifted her chin slightly as she listened, spoke, and took preliminary notes. The wire from her receiver ran from the edge of the deck into the water, joining the bathysphere, which was now sinking into the ocean depths.

Inside the ball, curled up and doing different things, sat two skinny men: Otis Barton and William Beebe. They had to be thin because the entrance to the bathysphere was less than two feet wide. Barton, who designed the ball and supervised its production, oversaw the 400-pound door’s water seal, the oxygen tanks to provide eight hours of breathable air, and the soda lime boxes to absorb exhaled carbon dioxide. occupiers. He checked the telephone battery and the fan that circulated the air.

Bathysphere Interior

Illustration of the interior of a bathysphere, unsigned, 1930

Wildlife Conservation Society / Reproduced with permission from the Wildlife Conservation Society archives.

As they sank, the temperature inside dropped and water condensed on the balloon’s ceiling, dripping down to form puddles at the bottom.

The ball was fitted with two three-inch quartz windows. There were supposed to be three of them, but one of the quartz glasses turned out to be defective, so its hole had to be plugged with steel.

Bibi, an ornithologist and protoecologist, curled up as close to the glass as possible. Fascinated by the underwater world, he was well aware of his status as a witness to something that no man had ever seen. An energetic man with an infectious enthusiasm, he was already famous for his popular books describing travels around the world in search of pheasants, an expedition to the Himalayas, and for risking his life to watch an erupting volcano in the Galapagos Islands. He was 52 years old, bald and bony, almost bow-legged, and spoke his observations in a thin but stately voice as he descended. He traveled all over the world, but he never got rid of his New Jersey accent, so worlds another birds came out voids another Boyds.

Book of Bathysphere

An extensive, philosophical and sensuous account of early exploration of the deep sea and their afterlife.

The winches unwound the cable, and as the bathysphere descended further, the light began to shift. The warm tones of the earth’s surface were absorbed by the water. At 100 feet, Beebe lifted up the red plate to check the spectrum and found it to be completely black—that warm frequency no longer reaches its current depth. A fish swam into view in the cool bright greens and blues of the water outside. He related what he saw to Hollister, who continued to write down his statements in his expedition notebook:

100 feet Red is gone, color plates are black.

Jelly Linuche.

200 Pilotfish around a 6″ long bait,

pure white with 8 jet black stripes.

250 No red or yellow in the sun. More

jelly, the tail of the pilot fish is visible again.

300 Otis saw Pilotfish, multi-colored fish

on the surface but looks white.

400 Two strings of salpa.

The shrimp look pure white.

500 Transparent fish with only food visible.

550 temperatures 75 degrees. Large leptocephalus.

Lots of Cavolinia. Several myctophids.

650 flashes of light in the distance.

800 Pretty dim. Meter reading 237.

900 A few fogs of small shrimp.

Big servo.

switch the lights off

As they descended, this interaction continued: shifting the spectrum until the world beyond the steel ball was blue, blue and nothing else, slowly fading to black, but still bright with a strange brightness that Beebe could not express. words. Their spotlight cast a dim yellow glow through the quartz windows, but now, at a thousand feet, it was fading fast.

Dolopyx tentacle-shaped

Painting Dolopichthys tentaculatus sp. nElse Bostelmann, 1931

Wildlife Conservation Society / Reproduced with permission from the Wildlife Conservation Society archives.

The beam went out, and the water outside filled with miniature explosions. tiny shrimp Beebe saw them carried in nets lifeless. Now he saw them for the first time in their native habitat, illuminating the black depths by the rapid oxidation of a chemical produced in their bodies called luciferase.

When the explosions stopped, the strange glow returned and it seemed like there had never been another color in the universe. He was sure he could read it, but when Burton lifted the page, he couldn’t make out a single word. Beebe turned to the round window, continued to watch and talk, and Hollister on deck wrote it all down on the lined pages of a journal:

1050 Blacker than the blackest midnight, but still bright.

The air is great. 20 small fish can be argyropelecs.

1100 A long, pale white fish with a thick, rat-like tail, resembling a makrurid.

with six lights bypassed the bend of the hose.

11:50 The beam of light is clearly visible – the light is on.

1200 Idiacant. Two Astrones.

1250 Stomias-shaped fish 5 inches long.

3-inch shrimp are completely white.

Argyropelecus in a beam of light.

2 glowing pale white jellies.

1300 6 or 8 shrimp. 50 or 100 lights like fireflies.

Little squid in a beam of light

it seems there is no light, went downstairs to lure.

Cyclotons. Two inch shrimp.

1350 The light is very pale.

Temperature 72. Measuring wheel reading 403.

1400 Looking straight down very black.

Black as hell.

Then a huge flash of light. Like a strobe lighting something outside the window. What caused it? Now he could see nothing but shrimp and jellyfish, but the image was imprinted in his mind.

It was a fat, eel-like creature with fangs. He saw a wide open mouth, small jagged teeth like nails in a board, but the mouth was gaping. What horror and hunger had he just seen? A cog slipped in the ruins of reality, and he was briefly immersed in a nightmare of fluorescent cracks and screeching. And then he was gone, and he was back in the ball.

Outside were the familiar waves of jellyfish.

He felt like he had seen enough. He told Hollister to tell the crew that it was time to bring them to the surface. When they reached 150 feet, the crew saw the ship underwater.

The winches dropped the bathysphere back on board and unscrewed the bolts to release the skinny people into the midday sun. Bibi walked out into the now unfamiliar daylight. He bent his knotted knees and stamped his feet on the deck of the boat. He looked at the low hills of Bermuda in the distance and realized that something in him had changed forever. He would later try to determine what it was. Something to do with the light he saw.

He wrote that the yellow of the sun “can never be as beautiful as blue”.

Spiny larva chasing copepods

Painting Spiny larva chasing copepodsElsa Bostelmann, 1930

Wildlife Conservation Society / Reproduced with permission from the Wildlife Conservation Society archives.

That summer, the bathysphere made 15 dives, and by the time the expedition ended in 1934, almost 40, reaching a depth of 3028 feet. At some point, an NBC crew arrived for a live deep sea broadcast.

During the expedition, the DTR team identified dozens of new species, although some were only seen once. Visibility through the quartz windows was insufficient for photography, so staff artists such as Elsa Bostelmann and George Swanson created illustrations based on Beebe’s descriptions – and Hollister’s as well, when she made her own record-breaking dives. Often, these startling images were the only visual evidence of outlandish, never-before-seen creatures, such as the comically grotesque fisherman named Beebe. Dolopyx tentacle-shaped.

Beebe recognized the scientific value of the expedition, but he also felt that its truly transformative effect depended on being physically present at depth. The difficulty, the risk involved, the discomfort of being cooped up with Barton all heightened his sense of contingency and interconnectedness. It made the world brighter. Faced with doubts that any of this could be transferred with the help of Hollister, the in-house artists, and the rest of the team, he wrote article after article, book after book. Perhaps he could convey something of what he saw and felt, causing our imagination, if not the body, to rest for a while among the wonders of the depths.

Extracts from Book of the Bathysphere: Effects of Luminous Ocean Depths, Brad Fox. Copyright © 2023 Brad Fox. Used with permission from the publisher Astra House. All rights reserved

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