Sociology Faculty Publications

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eJournal of Public Affairs

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Recognition of food insecurity among college students in the U.S. is growing. With college costs outpacing inflation for many years now, to what extent do students at "affordable" public-supported state universities experience difficulty affording food throughout the academic year? This article highlights the level of food insecurity among students enrolled in on-campus courses at Fort Hays State University. A two-wave, self-administered mail survey found that 34% of on-campus students experienced food insecurity in the previous year, and those who were food insecure were much more likely to use local food supports, including a campus food pantry. Current combined household income was the strongest correlate of food insecurity, and a number of other sociodemographic characteristics were not associated with being food insecure. In addition, the lower the reliance on savings among sources used to pay for college costs, the more likely a student was to be food insecure. The article concludes with a discussion of implications for local programming.

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