Hey Harper: Why must I be hangry after 2 p.m. on this campus?


Food options at the Farmer’s Fridge. (Photo by Adriana Briscoe.)

One mid-afternoon last semester, I was hangrily completing work for The Harbinger on campus. 

I hadn’t had anything to eat all day other than breakfast, so I started packing my bag to head over to Starbucks only to realize that they had closed at 1 p.m. 

So, with a sigh, I headed over to the vending machine to get some lame old trail mix, and my stomach was still growling after that snack. 

Why is there no place to buy an actual meal after 2 p.m. on this campus? Why can’t the Subway, Starbucks or both, stay open later?

Harper needs to offer more and better food options past 2 p.m. so that everyone can keep their stomachs full.  

Whether it’s a professor who needs their mid-day caffeine boost to get through grading 20+ papers or an overbooked college student who could use a meal to keep their mind sharp, there are many people who would benefit from having a food vendor or two open on campus later in the day.

Although students and staff can stop by the Farmer’s Fridge 24/7, the prices on the meals go as high as eight to 10 dollars — about as high as the hourly wage for some students’ service jobs and more expensive than pretty much every single offering at the campus Starbucks and Subway.

Not to mention that the offerings in that vending machine can often be out or expired. If the goal of having the Farmer’s Fridge is to make food more accessible to all, the prices, availability and quality of the meals should all reflect that goal.  

Students and staff who are on campus well into the late afternoon and evening need available food vendors. The mid-afternoon to late evening is quite a long stretch of time to go without a meal — how efficiently do you think students will be able to study and work if they’re hungry for five or six hours?

We can no longer blame a pandemic for being food scarce in the evenings.

It’s time to start prioritizing students’ nutritional needs throughout the entire day. Doing so will not only satisfy our stomachs but also help us study and perform better in our classes and clubs. 

Offering food options later in the day is also beneficial to students who may be food insecure. Since some students may not have enough food at home that they could pack and bring to campus, providing food at all times that the campus is open could help alleviate that burden for them. 

In addition, Harper should consider offering a greater variety of food options throughout the day to better serve students who may have special dietary needs. More gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and nut-free options should be available in the morning, afternoon and evening in order to cater to all students’ dietary needs and preferences.

As a vegetarian myself, I would appreciate not having to choose between a stinky, overpriced pasta salad from the Farmer’s Fridge or a sugar-loaded Starbucks pastry each day! 

We should be making our hawks happy, not hangry.