Statement on Rise in Food Insecurity on College Campuses

Today at a town hall held at George Washington University, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab and the Association of Community College Trustees released their latest survey on food insecurity among college and university students. In response to these recent findings and to the February 23rd letter to the Government Accountability Office from Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Patty Murray and Senator Edward Markey requesting a more comprehensive assessment of this issue by the Government Accountability Office, we issue the following statement:

We are alarmed by recent findings that as many as two in three community college students[1] and nearly one-fifth of students at four-year schools are experiencing food insecurity[2]. As an organization that works directly with college students to address hunger nationally and locally, we believe that no one should have to sacrifice food for an education.

In response to these startling statistics, we developed the Campus Hunger Project. In partnership with MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger, we are training student advocates on nearly 40 public and private colleges and universities to research food insecurity at their schools and educate their peers about this issue.

Today we sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), supporting the senators’ request to conduct a comprehensive study of food insecurity on American colleges and universities. We call on the GAO to collaborate with researchers and practitioners in the field and for lawmakers to lend their support.

We stand ready to offer our insight into this issue gained from over a decade of experience working hand-in-hand with campus professionals and student advocates.

[1] Goldrick-Rab, S., Richardson, J. & Hernandez, A. (2017). Hungry, Homeless, and in College: Results from a National Study of Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education. Madison, WI: Wisconsin HOPE Lab

[2] Cady, Dubick and Matthews. Hunger on Campus: The Challenge of Food Insecurity for College Students. October 2016.