By FRANK ELTMAN
With the cost of a public education up 27 percent in the past five years, some students are being forced to choose between eating and learning.
That's why many colleges have established their own food pantries. A group called the College and University Food Bank Alliance says about 50 member food banks have sprung up on campuses across the country, most of them in the last few years.
Stony Brook University on Long Island started a food pantry last fall, handing out bags of staples such as pasta, fruit, vegetables, tuna and breakfast bars.
Food bank officials say the profiles of recipients vary from undergraduate students who have opted for cheaper meal plans to people dealing with unexpected hardships to students raising children while struggling to pay tuition.