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When talking about starving students, let's dish out some honesty

Ruben Navarrette Jr. on

By RUBEN NAVARRETTE JR.

SAN DIEGO -- Before I succumb to the holiday spirit, I'm having an Ebenezer Scrooge moment.

Americans gripe about how immigrants want handouts, but the folks that I most often see panhandling appear to be native-born. They stand at intersections and hold up signs that read: "Will work for food."

I think to myself: "That's a coincidence. I do work for food."

In fact, I work 60 hours and seven days a week for food -- to feed myself, my wife and our three kids.

Lately, I've been reading a lot about how America's colleges and universities are full of starving students.

 

Typical is an article that ran in The New York Times in May that featured college seniors who dream about being able to start their day with breakfast, or wind up so delirious from hunger that they wander aimlessly, or take "poverty naps" rather than think about how hungry they are. It's called "food insecurity."

The story cited a Temple University survey that found that 45% of students from more than 100 institutions said they had been food insecure in the past 30 days.

About this, we should be immensely concerned. And, if you are, that makes you a good person. On the other hand, if you are not, you're a heartless ogre who deserves to be hunted by villagers carrying torches and pitchforks.

Since I have, in my more than three decades in the business, known more columnists who fit into the second category than into the first, I feel confident in proceeding with a dab of skepticism.

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