Food insecurity among students is finally getting recognized by the federal government.
A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that there are at least 2 million students who are at risk of being food insecure and who qualify for SNAP benefits but did not receive them. This number could be significantly higher, but the data available at this time is inconclusive.
This report is the first time the federal government has significantly acknowledged food insecurity on college campuses.
The GAO found that low-income students are the most at-risk for food insecurity and they are more at-risk if they are also a first-generation student or a single parent.
The report shows “that food insecurity is a college-completion issue,” Sara Goldrick-Rab, professor of higher-education policy at Temple University (PA) and scholar on campus hunger, told The Atlantic. “We’re undermining our federal investment in financial aid by not paying attention to this. We have to stop pretending like living expenses are not educational expenses.”
Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.