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MSU Roadrunner Food Pantry working to reach more students

Food insecurity is on the rise, with 29% of students at four-year colleges affected, according to a recent survey. MSU Denver is trying to help with its food pantry.

DENVER — Grades, homework and class projects are what college kids always worry about, but many students also add food insecurity to that list. 

A survey from the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice found that food insecurity was a problem for 29% of students at four-year colleges and universities.

"That's a big number for our campus," said Briana Rendon, a shift manager at Roadrunner Food Pantry, the student food pantry at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

"If you're in class, and you're hungry, and thinking about food, it just takes your mind off things," Rendon said.

This year, Rendon said she is focused on outreach. Based on the numbers from the Hope Center survey, up to 7,000 MSU students might be facing food insecurity. Last year, the pantry, located in the Tivoli Student Union, served less than 1,000 students.

"There's a big group of students we're not reaching, so that's our focus this semester," she said.

While the need can seem like a challenge, Rendon said that rising to it and helping her community means a lot.

"It makes me feel really happy and just excited to reach that number," she said.

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RELATED: New bill proposes free school lunches for all students statewide

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