Survey: Nearly half of college students report food insecurity in the past month

Survey: Nearly half of college students report food insecurity in the past month
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Nearly half of all college students in a new poll experienced food insecurity during the last month, according to a survey released this week by Temple University’s Hope Center for College, Community and Justice this week.

Forty-five percent of the nearly 86,000 two- and four-year college students surveyed said they'd experienced "limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food, or the ability to acquire such food in a socially acceptable manner" in the 30 days before being surveyed by Temple.

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Students at two-year institutions were more likely to have experienced food insecurity, at 48 percent, than those at four-year institutions (41 percent).

More than half of survey respondents from two-year schools and 44 percent of students from four-year institutions expressed worries about running out of food.

The results of the survey found that students who identified as members of marginalized groups, including African Americans, LGBTQ students, former foster youth and students who are independent from their parents or guardians for financial aid purposes, were all at higher risk of basic needs insecurity.

Employed students across the board experienced higher rates of food insecurity than those who said they were not employed and not looking for a job, the Temple University researchers found.

Efforts to address food insecurity at universities have recently expanded beyond food banks to include redistributing leftover food from dining halls and catered events, making students eligible for food stamps and other benefits and changing national and state education funding to cover living expenses, not just tuition.

“The hunger movement has been centered around food banks, but that is now changing as people focus on prevention,” Sara Goldrick-Rab, the founder of the Hope Center and a Temple University professor, told The New York Times.

A report on the survey noted that food and housing insecurity can be detrimental to students' academic success.