Could “food scholarships” help more students complete college?
Daphne Hernandez, an assistant professor of nutrition and obesity studies at the University of Houston, thinks so.
In a column published this month by Community College Daily, Hernandez noted that an estimated 50 percent of community college students nationwide lack access to healthy and affordable foods.
“These students receive financial aid, but the fact that the cost of tuition is outpacing the cost of living is making it difficult to make ends meet,” she wrote. “Once in college, students who experience food insecurity are at risk for academic failure, including lower grade point averages.”
Hernandez is currently partnering with Sara Goldrick-Rab, a sociology professor at Temple University (PA), to study the effects of the Houston Food Bank’s Food for Change program. The initiative offers 60 pounds of food to students in need.
“If the program helps students do better in college, those outcomes could help convince lawmakers and policymakers to do more to tackle the problem of campus hunger,” Hernandez said.
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