Challenge

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Food Insecurity among Higher Education Students in the US

University students lack access to affordable meals made with locally grown produce. Furthermore, 4 in 10 students were affected by food insecurity in 2020. Closer to 1 in 2 of those students were affected by housing insecurity, and about 16 percent experienced homelessness in the last year.
8M
People Impacted
$ 246B
Potential Funding
I have this challenge
the problem
Nature and Context

The Urban Institute reports that levels of food insecurity among households with students in four-year colleges and vocational education were 11.2 and 13.5 percent, respectively, in 2015—rates that are largely similar to national levels. However, food insecurity among households with students enrolled in two-year colleges was higher in the period after the 2008 recession than in 2015, with average rates of food insecurity of 21.2 percent during 2008–14.

As we exit the COVID-19 pandemic, we are experiencing an economic recession that will trigger similar levels of food insecurity among students at colleges, community colleges and vocational education centers

Symptoms and Causes

Research led by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice at Temple University, was completed by more than 167,000 students at 227 community colleges and four-year colleges and universities in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Key findings were:

  • 4 in 10 of those students were affected by food insecurity within the 30 days preceding the survey. This equates to approx 8 million students in the US

  • Closer to 1 in 2 of those students were affected by housing insecurity,

  • Around 16 percent experienced homelessness in the last year.

Recent data from the Urban Institute:

  • The share of adults reporting food insecurity edged back up from May to September of 2020 (from 17.9 percent to 19.6 percent), after major relief programs for households expired.

  • In particular, food insecurity rates increased among those who reported their families experienced a job loss during the pandemic.

  • Significant racial/ethnic disparities in food insecurity remain. Adults of Latin American Heritage (30.5 percent) and Black adults (28.2 percent) reported food insecurity at rates roughly double that of white adults (14.7 percent)

  • More than one in five adults with low incomes (20.8 percent) sought food assistance from charitable sources in September of 2020

who benefits from solving this problem
Organization Types
  • Colleges & Universities

  • Trade and Vocational Schools

  • Organizations that work on Nutrition and Affordable Meals

ideas
Ideas Description

The team at Bites | Eat With Your Tribe (a social impact solution listed here on X4Impact) created the iOS version of a mobile app to match students with any basic cooking skills, with students at their school who are looking for affordable meals made with locally sourced ingredients. Outside of the payment to the student cook for their services and ingredients, all remaining proceeds from this app get paid directly back to the college or university to support food gardens being grown on their campus.

An idea from the team at Bites | Eat With Your Tribe is to create an Android version of this mobile app with the same name, for the benefit of students at universities across the USA.

Student eaters get affordable homemade meals (no tip, no tax, no service charge, no delivery fee). Student cooks get fun, flexible cooking gigs out of it (a job) and the opportunity to share their culture, cuisines, and stories with students at their own school. The college or university gets funds out of it to grow food gardens on campus for the benefit of students and faculty alike.

attributions
Contributors to this Page
  • The Team at 'Bites | Eat With Your Tribe' can be reached at Support@WarehouseAppsPhx.com or via their website: Bites.mobi

  • Giving Tech Labs Team

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