Food Insecurity In Yesenia Cuevas

1756 Words 8 Pages
There used to be a time where owning just a high school diploma was feasible enough for a person to make an honest living. However, time has altered those standards. Owning a college degree is gradually becoming the new minimal credential for people to find success. Consequently, with colleges charging unreasonable amounts for tuition that rather only seems to be increasing, more and more college students find themselves in financial turmoil. As a result of absurd tuition cost, students are degraded to the point of choosing between an education or satisfying basic physiological needs. Food insecurity is defined as a state of living where access to quantities of affordable nutritious food is unreliable. The University of California Irvine is …show more content…
Through the account of Yesenia Cuevas’s experience, a current student at UCI who is receiving training in a college radio station called KUCI, readers will hopefully be able to visualize the enormity of this crisis. Cuevas describes her overpowering hunger feeling like a Molcajete: a traditional Mexican version of the mortar and pestle used for grinding. With little income, Yesenia stole food from her housemates and cautiously took precaution in hope they would not find out. Even while attending a nationally ranked college, for Yessenia having to stray from her morals is heartbreaking. She describes the consequence of food insecurity by exclaiming her body, “became a replica of a stick” (Cuevas). Just for an education, Yesenia consciously allows her body to reach such a detrimental state. Since when did an education outweigh someone’s own personal health? In many cases, students will still knowingly accept going through starvation. Eventually, her housemates left her a note in all capital letters saying, “STOP EaTING OUR SHIT” (Cuevas). The utter humility, embarrassment, and feeling of helplessness in looking at her own housemates in the eye about her food insecurity is an unnecessary pain made to be necessary. Working at Yogurtland still left Yesenia unable to escape her food insecurity. One day a couple came to pay for their yogurt, but left a box of Blaze Pizza and a seafood meal from Slapfish. …show more content…
The addition to UCI’s meal plan is the optional ability to donate meal swipes. Currently there are two meal plans at UCI: one with a limited number of swipes and one with an unlimited number of swipes. For this reform to be put into action, a finite number of donations for those who have unlimited swipes should be made. At the end of the quarter, there will be students who have left over swipes. Instead of those remaining meals just going to waste, students who opt to donate their meals will be given to food insecure students the following quarter. A system can be made that automatically recycles unused swipes or a student simply can donate a certain number of meals themselves. There is nothing for UCI to lose as those meal plans have long been paid for in advance. If this reform was to be applied, a self-sustaining system that recycles extra meals would be made. Defining who qualifies for these donated meals may be tricky. Prioritizing low-income students is a must. By reviewing student applications meals can be distributed on a need basis. Anyone who believes they need donated meals may fill out an application. This reform is a no-cost solution that may be very beneficial for those who are food insecure. Bringing a feasible but realistic approach to the situation is the only way change will ever be

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