Developing Effective, Scalable Strategies to Address Hunger on Post-Secondary Campuses

Organization profile

Organization profile

Food insecurity, or lack of reliable access to sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food, has recently gained attention as a concern on college campuses. Early work suggests as many as one in every two to three college students may be food insecure, and thus also vulnerable to numerous adverse health and academic consequences as a result. Post-secondary institutions across the U.S. are struggling to understand the scope and nature of the rising campus food insecurity crisis and to identity solutions. Effective interventions will likely need to include numerous components, such as emergency food provision to students as well as upstream policy and systems approaches to prevent food insecurity. Our team is deeply dedicated to the notion that no young person should have to choose between their pursuit of higher education and feeding themselves, and we are committed to identifying evidence-based, scalable strategies post-secondary institutions can employ to make this a reality. The aim of this project is to provide necessary formative research for developing and implementing evidence-based interventions.

Our team will leverage university expertise from public health, nutrition, nursing, education, medicine, public affairs, liberal arts, food and agriculture, as well as expertise from students and trainees from a range of backgrounds and a wide array of cross-sector partner organizations. Using a mixed methods approach we will address key research questions, including: Who is most affected by food insecurity on college campuses in Minnesota? How is student food insecurity associated with health, well-being, and educational achievement? How do institutional factors influence college officials in initiating campus hunger relief efforts? How can we build a multi-faceted network of stakeholders across campuses to collaborate on multi-level strategies that address the underlying causes of hunger? Overall, our long-term goal is to catalyze evidence-based, actionoriented research that will allow us to work with campuses to develop and evaluate systems-level strategies for effectively and sustainably alleviating campus food insecurity.


Grand Challenges Research Awards: Phase 3


Project: Grand Challenges