Editor’s Desk: College students short of food, Arizona farmers short of water

Student volunteer Annemarie Todaro helps stock the shelves and count inventory at the CARE food pantry at Kennesaw State University. Photo by Melissa Golden.

In case you missed them, we published two recent stories – both of which fit into FERN reporting initiatives that need your support and will benefit from a donor matching opportunity.

In the first, Bridget Huber reported on the issue of food insecurity among college students, who may live in cars, ration their food, and rely on food banks just to get through the month. Although deeply disturbing, the story highlighted a program at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, supporting low-income students with food and housing resources so they might make it to graduation. Published in The Nation, the story garnered a huge amount of attention on the magazine’s site and in social media.

In our second piece, produced with National Geographic, Stephen R. Miller reported on farmers in Arizona who are facing a water and climate crisis that pits them against booming urban centers. A multi-state pact was signed earlier this year apportioning the dwindling water from the Colorado River. In Arizona, where population centers are growing, farmers are now at the end of a long list of water recipients. As a result, farmers are sinking wells into shrinking aquifers, or getting out of farming altogether, selling their property to housing developers. The story provides a glimpse of a water-scarce future, which, Stephen makes clear, will only grow more severe in the coming decades as climate change exacerbates the problem.

These two stories fit into ongoing initiatives we have underway on food access and nutrition, and the complicated relationship of climate change and agriculture.

Your support helps us produce this work. Right now your donation will be doubled until the end of the year, or multiplied 12x for new monthly donations — through the support of #Newsmatch, a national donor matching program. Please give now to support our work in these important topic areas.