The Rev. Kathey Crowe, a deacon in the Diocese of El Camino Real, is featured in a recent Episcopal News Service story about the “startling” problem of food insecurity among college students.

Episcopalians in college towns all over the United States are recognizing that many students have to choose between tuition and books or food, and they are trying to help. Their ministries, often done in partnership with the schools and local food banks, range from startup to long-established. Many are growing to serve an increasing need. Some are exploring whether what they do is helping. The problem they address is growing and changing.

“There’s always that stigma” and sense of shame that hungry students impose on themselves, said Crowe, a deacon at Canterbury Bridge Episcopal Campus Ministry at San Jose State University. Bringing the need out into the open helps, she said. When Second Harvest Food Bank’s Just in Time mobile food pantry attracted between 500 to 600 people on the San Jose campus, students saw they weren’t the only ones in need.

A second story focuses on Crowe and the Canterbury Bridge Episcopal Campus Ministry at San Jose State. In 2014 Crowe was asked to be part of a campus-wide committee to examine the issue of homelessness and food insecurity on the campus in San Jose, California. They found that a third of the nearly 33,000 students “had to decide I am going to buy books, or I am going to eat,” in Crowe’s words. Read the full story here, which includes a video by Second Harvest Food Bank.

Below: St. Stephen’s in-the-Field in south San Jose is working to help the homeless community by collaborating with Deacon Crowe as she ministers to the homeless students at San Jose State. The women of St. Stephen’s are gathering to make polar fleece blankets for Kathey to distribute where she sees the need. Deacon Kathey has 12 beds she is able to let students use. The Rev. Karen Cuffie and Deacon Robin Poppoff help the St. Stephen’s congregation bless the blankets.