Students fight for food justice

Students on Eastern Michigan University’s campus are working to bring food justice to those in need.

Food justice is a term used to define and describe the work of eradicating food insecurity. It occurs when everyone has equal access and opportunity to receive nutritious food.

Student organizations, Students For Justice In Palestine and the Muslim Student Association, have recognized a need for food justice on Eastern Michigan University’s campus.

On Monday, as part of the Volunteer Challenge Initiative, the groups collaborated to host a free lunch event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in front of Bob’s Lake House.

“The Muslim Student Association and Students for Justice in Palestine wanted to host this event together because Muslims are highly encouraged in Islamic teachings to feed people,” Fatma Jaber, president of SJP said. “[We] are aware of the food injustices occurring on our campus and in Palestine and, therefore, wanted to contribute positively to the injustice by offering free meals.”

Approximately 40 lunches were handed out and consisted of two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a piece of fresh fruit, a Fruit Roll-Up and a water.

That same lunch, if purchased on campus, might cost around $10, but Jaber said that SJP spent “a little less than $45” at Sam’s Club.

While EMU offers some healthy food choices, high prices create a condition of food insecurity.

“All the produce is sky-high expensive,” Stephen Brannon, an anthropology major said. “It’s very difficult, if you don’t have transportation, to get to areas with fresh produce and nutritional menus.”

The resident of Ypsilanti also noted that depending on financial aid doesn’t enable students to subsidize their own nutrition.

Jaber said that this event was a trial run, but there appears to be a need for this type of volunteer work. SJP and MSA will hold another event in December.

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