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Scott Iverson collects food

Scott Iverson, right, Purdue University Northwest executive director of housing and residential education, accepts a food donation from Karen Bishop Morris, interim dean of the honors college, Tuesday at the Student Union and Library. Iverson is collecting food each month for an incoming food pantry that will be available to students at University Village.

Many of us are familiar with the long-held image of the financially challenged college student, dining on a steady diet of freeze-dried Ramen noodles available by the case for a few dollars.

Pursuing a college degree is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor, leaving little time for pursuing incomes beyond a minimum-wage position for most college students.

It can leave a college apartment or dorm room pantry bare.

So Purdue University Northwest deserves praise for taking strong steps to fill the needs of college students whose bellies may be growling.

This fall, Purdue Northwest plans to open its first on-campus food pantry serving students in the school's University Village housing.

Scott Iverson, executive director of housing for the school, is accepting non-perishable donations for the new food pantry, and we encourage such contributions from all residents and businesses able to give.

The new food pantry will be located in a former student lounge in Griffin Hall, on the south end of the Hammond campus.

Canned goods and boxes of dried pasta already are flowing in.

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Kudos to Purdue Northwest for seeing a need and attempting to fill it.

"There's a lot of responsibility to keep our students as safe and secure as possible," Iverson recently told Times education reporter Carley Lanich. "This way of food insecurity is just one that hasn't been looked at closely enough, and I think our campus is stepping up to the plate."

In a survey taken of Purdue Northwest student residents last year, 71% of respondents said they knew someone in university housing who, at times, did not have enough food.

Of those taking the survey, 75% said there were times they didn't have enough food for themselves.

College years are crucial for the young adults who seek to enrich their chances for success through a college degree.

Nourishment is key to that quest.

A campus food pantry is a great start to helping feed struggling students.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editor Marc Chase, Deputy Editor Kerry Erickson, Assistant Local News Editor Crista Zivanovic and Regional News Editor Sharon Ross.