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.
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.
Nontraditional students are more vulnerable to food insecurity. Among two-year college students, 1 in 5 has children.
Nearly 1 in 5 households with a two-year college student was identified as food insecure from 2011 to 2015.
64% of food insecure students reported experiencing some type of housing insecurity, 15% were homeless in the past 12 months.
20% of students reported having skipped eating for an entire day due to lack of money in the past 30 days.
15% said they had lost weight in the last 30 days because they could not afford to eat.
Students typically blame themselves, leaving them feeling ashamed, alone, and unable to focus.
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:
- failing tests
- missing deadlines
- difficulty concentrating
- low energy
- not purchasing required supplies/textbooks
- missing or dropping classes
- poor physical and mental health