SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– There’s a stereotype about college students. They’re all supposed to be starving or broke. That joke is a lot less funny when you consider the number of college students who genuinely can’t afford to eat every day. 

Right now, according to Feeding America, there are six people in Greene County who aren’t sure when they’ll be able to afford a meal again.

Graduate Assistant Jessica Allen at MSU says for college students facing that problem it’s often a debate between food and financial responsibility, “Do we want to eat? Or do we want to pay for gas to get to and from work?”  

It’s why Missouri State University opened the Bear Pantry, a food source for struggling students, faculty, and staff.

Those eligible for the new food assistance program will be able to utilize the service up to nine times each semester. 

Along with food, the Bear Pantry will also provide toiletries and diapers. 

The pantry is inside the Plaster Student Union and is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.