Over the past several months, the R.J. Leonard Foundation has seen an increasing number of our Fellows on campus reaching out to the Foundation for assistance with food. Yes, many have a meal plan, but the cafeteria isn’t always fully open - particularly not through the summer semester, during football summer camp or during brief breaks in the semester. Even when it is open, the offerings may not be amazing. What’s more, meal plans don’t cover those late night cravings when you’re working on papers or mid-class snack attacks. Our Fellows don’t have family members sending them care packages. They didn’t move into their dorm with a bin full of Easy Mac and Ramen, chips and cereal. They are fully reliant, especially when the little money they are able to earn goes to car payments, cell phones and tuition, on what’s available on campus, and what’s available doesn’t always cover the basics.
Off campus, our Fellows are also struggling. After monthly bills, their income is depleted. At the grocery store, the cost of food is enough to limit the shopping trip and/or make subsequent trips through the month nearly impossible. We are increasingly helping to supplement incomes for food, reaching out to community partners for help with food, and referring our Fellows to food pantries.
The basics. That’s what our Fellows need right now. If you’re able to help, go to rjleonardfoundation.org to donate.