2024-Jun-15 5 min

A Hidden Issue: Food Insecurity on College Campuses

What is food security?

Food security is defined as the ability to have reliable access to healthy and affordable food and is a major issue on college campuses.

The Hidden Issue

Approximately 1 in 3 college students are food insecure, and the struggle to make ends meet leaves many having to choose between utilities, housing, tuition, textbooks, and groceries.

Compounding the issue, college students are an often overlooked population when examining food security in society, with many perceiving food security and financial issues in college students as more a normal part of being a college student. 

For instance, narratives around college students surviving off of ramen noodles and joining clubs for the sole purpose of eating the provided free food attempt to normalize what is a serious issue.

The Spring 2023 National College Assessment III stated that only 3.7 percent of college students reported eating 5 to 6 servings of vegetables per day.

With the rising of college costs and the increasing student population, chronic hunger is becoming a larger but extremely overlooked issue.

So what?

Updated policies and programs such as food pantries are needed to reflect the current reality of food security issues on college campuses.

Various innovative programs and initiatives are underway at many campuses to aid student populations in accessing healthy and affordable food. In addition to addressing food security issues, policy change is needed to support food security on a larger, more formal scale.


Stay tuned for a blog post on how universities are addressing this issue!



Garratt, Robyn. “Food Insecurity on College Campuses.” Www.communitycommons.org, 2023, www.communitycommons.org/collections/Food-Insecurity-on-College-Campuses.