AUSTIN, Minn- 37 million Americans struggle with hunger. That's according to Feeding America. A study released this fall raises important questions about whether colleges are prepared to help students meet their basic needs. The survey found that 2 in 5 Minnesota community college students experienced food insecurity, housing insecurity or homelessness in the past year.
Oballa Oballa migrated came to the united states in pursuit of a better life.
As he strived to live the American dream he was faced with one tough decision to buy food or pay for his education. He chose his education -and often went to class with an empty stomach.
he went on to serve as student body president and later pushed for a food pantry on campus.
he's finally speaking out about an issue he kept hidden for so long.
"I hid my food insecurity because I didn't want to tell anyone that I was going through that,”Oballa said. “Through that experience, I decided to do something.” His work was recognized on a state level
Earlier this year, Governor Tim Walz signed the Hunger-Free Campus Act which recognizes campuses that are taking steps to address this issue. To receive the designation campuses must (1) establish food delivery systems (like food pantries), (2) have a campus hunger task force, (3) hold one hunger awareness event, (4) provide information to students on programs that reduce food insecurity, and (5) establish an emergency assistance grant for students. This program creates a roadmap for colleges to follow as they work to better support students experiencing food insecurity. In addition to this Governor Walz declared October 24th College Food insecurity Awareness Day.
“I will continue my work so no student will have to deal with hunger,” Oballa said.