food insecurity | KNKX

food insecurity

Will James / KNKX

Expanding access to higher education is a core part of the mission at the University of Washington Tacoma, which had its commencement Monday. 

Many of the campus' students commute from nearby communities, 58 percent have parents without college degrees, and 73 percent receive financial aid.

Kara Dethlefsen lined up early on a recent morning for the food pantry at the Camp Pendleton Marine Base near San Diego. She and her husband, both active-duty Marines, took turns holding their 4-month-old daughter.

"We most like to get the avocados, lemons, some vegetables to cook up," says Dethlefsen, 27, who first heard about the pantry from an on-base nurse after giving birth.

With Thanksgiving on the mind of most people this week, a new report shows the number of Oregonians who aren't sure where their next meal is coming from continues to rise.

When Lanarion Norwood Jr. was 9 years old, he opened his family's refrigerator to find it almost empty. His grandmother, unemployed because of disability, had run out of food for the month. So Norwood did what many young children adamantly resist: He went to bed early. Sleeping, he reasoned, would help him suppress hunger, and he knew the next day he could eat at his Atlanta school.

USDAgov / Flickr

The recession has brought a major spike in the number of Washington families who experience hunger, according to data from advocates and federal officials. Hunger has gone up all over the country, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that Washington has fared worse than the country overall.