College is filled with plenty of expenses, from tuition to textbooks, but for some financially burdened students, the costs weigh so heavily that paying for food becomes a day-to-day challenge. That challenge was what motivated the administration of George Washington University, one of the country's most expensive private colleges, to create a food bank for students in need of a helping hand.
While most students receive financial aid in some form at GW—a $68,000 a year institution, all costs considered—many still struggle to keep their head above water financially. In a recent interview with NPR, Tim Miller, the university's associate dean of students, opened up about the decision to establish a place where strapped-for-cash students could have access to dietary necessities they might not be able to afford otherwise.
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At GW, unlike some major universities, the meal plan doesn't revolve around a buffet-style cafeteria meal system, in which a swipe equals a meal. Rather, because many of the school's students actively intern and work around Washington D.C., their dining plan is a pay-per-meal system that works with a number different spots around the campus and city. While this system allows for a greater scope of options, it also results in a greater likelihood of a student running out of money for food altogether.