LA Tribune: New Organization Formed to Fight Food Insecurity Among Low-Income College Students
Student Lunchbox Seeks to Facilitate Uninterrupted Academic Achievement and Increase College Graduation Rates.
LOS ANGELES—Feb. 20, 2021—With estimates that nearly half of students attending colleges and universities do not have the financial means to afford balanced meals. A new organization, Student Lunchbox (SLB), has formed to deliver meals and boarding essentials to low-income college students to reduce the hardships of hunger.
The startup Los Angeles-based Student Lunchbox, a 501(c) approved nonprofit charity, is currently in the fundraising phase. “We aim to build a one-of-a-kind organization that specifically serves the low-income college population,” the founder, Karlen Nurijanyan reported.
“Too often, students are forced to skip meals, take hunger naps, sleep in their cars, or find themselves in a state of virtual poverty and homelessness, all “in the name of higher education,'” Nurijanyan said. “Recent studies show that nearly half of the college students do not have the financial means to sustain their living, leading to hunger insecurity which directly impacts student graduation rates. SLB is an essential resource that responds quickly with one of the most critical resources students need: food. Campus hunger has been rooted in our communities for over a decade, and unfortunately, this problem remains unspoken.”
Student Lunchbox plans to purchase, solicit and distribute food and other essentials to low-income college students who otherwise cannot afford balanced meals. The organization’s infrastructure will focus on offering a food box program available for pick-up and delivery services to all students with disabilities who cannot commute to SLB’s facility. All the services provided to students by SLB are entirely free.
“We offer weekly food boxes and other essentials including bed and bath supplies, and necessities for students with children, including baby wipes, diapers, and everything else that is fundamental to students’ academic success,” Nurijanyan said.
Initially, Student Lunchbox will focus on colleges and universities located in Los Angeles before expanding to other cities and states.
“Our approach to fighting campus hunger is simple,” Nurijanyan said. “Our goal is to build partnerships with wholesale food suppliers to purchase safe and nutritious foods at significantly discounted prices that otherwise would be sent to landfills. We would similarly secure food and supply donations from local food growers, farmers’ markets, small and large retailers, local businesses and distributors, and other partners who support our mission.”
For more information about Student Lunchbox, including how to make a donation or in-kind contribution, please visit www.studentlunchbox.org.