The financial burden of pursuing a college degree can leave some students without enough food.
A college education has become more of a necessity in an increasingly competitive job market. The rising costs of a college education have made it more difficult for students to work and obtain a college degree. Not all students receive financial support from their families, but financial aid rewards are often granted assuming this is possible.
What is food insecurity?
Students facing food insecurity have inconsistent access to food because of limited resources. Food insecurity is estimated to affect 14- 60% of students at some point in their college careers.
Who does it affect?
Food insecurity can impact any student - undergraduate, graduate, or professional. It can occur for as long as the student is enrolled at the university or can occur for a shorter period of time. Students attending four-year universities and community colleges are affected.
Is there an exact statistic on the rate of incidence of food insecurity on college campuses?
The exact number of students facing food insecurity cannot be determined without knowing how many are in poverty. However, college students are not included in poverty statistics because they are thought to skew the data. The high cost of education and limited income have led some students into food insecurity, but many do not realize help is available.
Individual universities are responsible for collecting this information. Some of these institutions have determined the percentage of their student body experiencing food insecurity and have published the results:
University of Manoa in Hawaii - 21%
University of California, San Diego - 35%
University of South Alabama - 57%
Western Oregon University - 59%
What does Donor to Diner do to alleviate food insecurity?
Donor to Diner (D2D) has been working closely with universities to help alleviate food insecurity while promoting awareness of this issue. The programs each D2D chapter implements vary because they are tailored to the needs of the student population the chapter serves. Nevertheless, all chapters work to create and improve resources while ensuring all these programs are easily accessible to students.
D2D helps these students by increasing resources available to students by creating or expanding programs like a university food pantry. The "One Meal Initiative" is D2D's innovative meal donation program that allows students with excess meals in their meal plans to donate one meal to benefit their fellow peers who are suffering from food insecurity.
D2D's efforts are not limited to collecting donations. Food insecurity on college campuses is a common but relatively unknown problem. Our advocacy campaigns help increase awareness of this issue on campus and in the surrounding community.
By providing students with the basic necessities they need, we can further the American dream by helping them focus on their education and future career.
To learn more about D2D visit our "About Us" page.
For more on what we do, see "Our Work"