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Students at 2-year Schools More Likely to Be Hungry
Illinois Ag Connection - 08/10/2017

For the majority of college students, having enough food is not on the list of challenges they face in their education.

"Consistent with what most people probably believe intuitively, food insecurity is not a major issue at elite four-year campuses," says University of Illinois agricultural economist Craig Gundersen. However, a recent study shows that, for some college students, hunger is definitely one of the problems they face and this can impede their ability to succeed in college.

The data show students who attend 2-year colleges and vocational schools are generally from poorer households. They don't have to live on campus in dorms with required meal plans in dining halls. In fact, they are more likely to be still living at home with their parents. If their parents are food insecure, then so are they. Gundersen believes the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program) is the best social safety net to combat food insecurity in the United States.

The study, "Assessing food insecurity on campus: A national look at food insecurity among America's college students," is written by Kristin Blagg, Craig Gundersen, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, and James P. Ziliak. It is published online by the Urban Institute. This report was funded in part by the Lumina Foundation and NIFA.

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