36 percent of college students nationwide are going hungry everyday while attending school. Just as many don’t have a secure place to live.
This is according to a new study called “Still Hungry and Homeless in College”.
Remember hearing about the “Freshmen 15”? This is when new students gain weight because of the easy access to fast food on and off campus.
But according to researchers from Temple University and the Wisconsin Hope Lab, more students are actually going hungry. And its getting worse.
They say tuition hikes and the unwillingness of schools to address the student hunger issue are making the problem more prominent.
When 66 colleges and universities were surveyed, the survey included two-year and four-year schools, as well as private and public universities.
Researchers say students aren’t just skipping meals to save up for beer money. They are not eating because they don’t have any money to pay for it.
McLennan Community College (MCC) is also seeing the problem on their campus, and they have partnered with local organizations to help those who may be struggling with food and housing.
“Because if you can’t fill your stomach, it’s really hard to be able to focus in the classroom,” says MCC Success Coach Brandon Hoye. “So through those partnerships with the president and Caritas, we’re able to bring additional means to the food pantry here at MCC. I think we have gotten to the point now, [where] we serve about 100 different households and upwards of about 300 different individuals just through the month of March.”
Hoye says students are juggling so much in their personal lives, and it’s hard for many to get by. This is why they have set up a pantry on campus for needy students.
Here are some suprising numbers:
– Nine percent of university students and 12 percent of community college students said they were homeless in the last year.
– 36 percent of university students were housing-insecure in the past year, which means they could not afford rent or utilities or needed to move frequently.
And that’s 46 percent of community college students.
The numbers also show black and Native American students were much more likely than other to experience food or housing insecurity.
If you would like to see the numbers, you can go here.