Understanding the food insecurity experiences of college students: A qualitative inquiry

Michael J. Stebleton, Crystal K. Lee, Kate K. Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This qualitative study explored the experiences of 23 food insecure undergraduate students. We interviewed participants about their experiences with hunger and food access, including how food insecurity affected their daily lives. Using holistic student development as a theoretical framework, our thematic analysis of individual student interviews produced three findings: (a) learning to work around hunger, (b) managing anxieties around food and wellness, and (c) acknowledging that food insecurity is a shared and critical issue. Our findings expand the literature on college student food insecurity, which is largely based on quantitative studies. We discuss implications for practice, policy, and future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-752
Number of pages26
JournalReview of Higher Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Association for the Study of Higher Education.


  • Food insecurity
  • Student development
  • Student success
  • Wellness


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding the food insecurity experiences of college students: A qualitative inquiry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this