Food anxiety amid the pandemic is very real

Groceries in a Palmetto Apartments kitchen. Photo by Paulette Jordan

Buying groceries since the spread of the coronaviruspandemic has been a hassle for adults, including college students.

Many businesses in Florida are closed with the exception of grocery stores, which have cut back hours. With reduced hours grocery stores are now more crowded than theyve ever been. Grocery stores have also gone to the extent of using tape and putting arrows on the ground in order to indicate how far apart shoppers should be standing from each other.

Regardless, with the crowds at grocery stores, social distancing will be made more difficult. The most out of stock item at grocery stores have been toiletries including toilet paper. The stores are often completely out of paper products and the aisle is left completely empty.

Some grocery stores have even run out of some food products. With the loss of jobs as a result of the stay-at-home order, grocery shopping is going to be even harder in the future.

In Tallahassee, food banks are available but many people still have difficulty getting food. Some of the events only have a small quantity of food and are only able to give food to people who are first in line due to the high demand forgroceries.

There have been a lot of situations where so many people have been in attendance at the food banks that there hasnt been enough food to give to everyone in line. Since spring break FAMU has been offering week-long Farm Share events for students. It is an opportunity for students to get free nonperishable items such as canned goods, fruits, vegetables and bread. On the last Thursday in March, the Civic Center hosted a food pantry for the public. Many elementary schools are hosting food banks as well.

FAMU’s residence dining hall is still open for carry-out only. Students are greeted by a dining hall employee who swipes their Rattler card and gives them a cup .

Before students enter the cafeteria, they are reminded to sanitize their hands. The dining hall employees are able to give students the food and all of it is placed into a to-go box. The dining hall exit has a table that has silverware, straws and napkins.

Starting Monday the dining hall will only serve students who are given specific permission to still reside on campus. The Rattlers Nest will be closed until further notice.

FAMU Venom shuttle currently runs from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All of these circumstances could have a negative effect on FAMU students who are less fortunate and at risk of being homeless.