Three silhouettes of a milk carton with an apple next to it. The first one is shaded white.Food insecurity is not about skipping a meal—all college students do that. It’s about not knowing when you will eat again or where your next meal will come from.

 

Oven and refrigerator with line through it, equal sign, and then a bowl of food with line through it.HOME INSECURITY and FOOD INSECURITY go hand in hand. It’s difficult to cook a healthy meal if you don’t have a kitchen or refrigerator.

 

Alternating silhouettes of three people in dresses and two in pants. The third person in a dress is pushing a baby stroller.Nontraditional students are more vulnerable to food insecurity. Among two-year college students, 1 in 5 has children.

 

Images of five houses. The first four are shaded white and the final is shaded black.Nearly 1 in 5 households with a two-year college student was identified as food insecure from 2011 to 2015.

 

Image of a house with a question mark inside and 64% to the right of the house.64% of food insecure students reported experiencing some type of housing insecurity, 15% were homeless in the past 12 months.

 

Broken piggy bank with 20% on the right of it.20% of students reported having skipped eating for an entire day due to lack of money in the past 30 days.

 

Image of a scale with 15% written next to it.15% said they had lost weight in the last 30 days because they could not afford to eat.

 

Sad face, crying face, broken heart, and then hopeless face.Students typically blame themselves, leaving them feeling ashamed, alone, and unable to focus.

 

Image of person pushing a boulder up a hill.Students enduring poverty spend as much time on college—going to class and doing homework—but more time working or looking for a job, commute further, and spend less time sleeping.

Help is not always available:

  • Students enrolled in school at least half time are ineligible for SNAP benefits (food stamps) unless they have a child under age 6 or work at least 20 hours per week.
  • DACA students do not qualify for federal student aid, nor assistance such as SNAP.
  • The value of the real minimum wage $7.25 is 17% less than 10 years ago.

Symptoms of a food insecure student:Arrange in a circle, from top, clockwise are: a triangle with an exclamation mark, classroom with 1 of 4 students an outline only, textbook, student sleeping at desk, low battery, hopeless face, and calendar. In the center is a bag of groceries with a line through it.

  • failing tests
  • missing deadlines
  • difficulty concentrating
  • low energy
  • drowsiness
  • not purchasing required supplies/textbooks
  • missing or dropping classes
  • poor physical and mental health