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EAST VILLAGE, Manhattan — Anna Moritz, 21, is a senior at NYU and says for years, she struggled to go to college and afford food.

Moritz decided to do something about it, helping coordinate a new food pantry only for college students. It’s been open just a month, tucked inside Trinity Lower East Side Church. Students can visit twice a month and get fruits, vegetables, canned foods, milk, eggs, protein and cereal.

Alex Lawrence is the Executive Director of Trinity services and food for the homeless, and runs their soup kitchen and came up with the idea.

“They have deep loans. They are in debt and have little or no access to part time jobs right now, and they are food insecure,” said Lawrence.

The only promotion for the pantry is word of mouth and Instagram.

At their first distribution two weeks ago, 35 students showed up. Wednesday, over 50 students have signed up. Food insecurity in college students was a problem before the pandemic.

According to a 2019 study from The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University, 45% of students surveyed from over 100 institutions across the country said they had been food insecure in the past 30 days.

The church is looking for college students to volunteer. If you need food or want to support the college student pantry, visit their website.