CNN - The number of food pantries on college campuses is exploding. While there's no official count, membership in the College and University Food Bank Alliance has quadrupled in the past two years. It currently has 398 members.
While the economy has rebounded, the cost of college continues to rise faster than income. The average total cost rose 10% over the past five years at public colleges and by 12% at private institutions. Median family income rose just 7% over the same time period.
A new report shows that the college campus hunger problem goes far beyond a few sad stories. It surveyed more than 3,000 students at a mix of 34 community and four-year colleges, finding that 48% experienced food insecurity in the past 30 days.
The data suggests that hunger is more common among college students than the U.S. population as a whole, in which 14% of households experience food insecurity each year, according to the government.