Survey Identifies Hunger Problem Among College Students

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As Americans prepare their dinner tables for Thanksgiving, a national survey of college students finds that 20% did not always know where their next meal would come from.  Temple University Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab studies the issue and spoke on 90.3’s the Sound of Ideas.  She says food insecurity happens at a higher rate among community college students, but it also affects students at elite universities.

"The average person knows that the cost of food and the cost of housing in this country has gone up quite a bit," says Goldrick-Rab.  "Financial aid hasn’t kept pace.  And it’s a problem because, frankly, it’s a real risk to go to college these days and not finish.  You end up with debt and no degree.  And being hungry definitely gets in the way of learning.  So this is not just a hunger crisis, but frankly, it’s an education crisis." 

The “Hunger on Campus” study sampled more than 3700 students at 34 colleges and universities.  More than half of African-American students in the survey reported food insecurity.  Goldrick-Rab says she supports programs including one at Kent State University that provides emergency financial support to students who are nearing graduation but running out of money. 

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