College students have plenty to stress about — from exams and grades to their futures and the minefield of social life on campus. One stress they don’t need is wondering where their next meal is going to come from.

Yet East Carolina University’s Center for Counseling and Student Development reports that 39 percent of its student visitors experience stress associated with food. Almost half — 47 percent — find their financial situation “always or often stressful.”

The Purple Pantry, a food bank currently located in the counseling center and soon to be housed in the new Main Campus Student Center, is aimed at reducing food insecurity on ECU’s campus. A partnership between the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina in Greenville and a number of campus offices and organizations, the Purple Pantry is available to enrolled students through referral from the Dean of Students Office, the Center for Counseling and Student Development and Student Health. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis.

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Originally published Sept. 5, 2018.