UMass Amherst is on a mission to ensure that all students are food secure. Food security means that students have access, at all times, to enough food for an active, healthy life.
Food insecurity at colleges across the United States is a serious and widespread problem. In the 2018 study of college students in the US “Still Hungry and Homeless in College,” the Hope Center found that:
- 36% of university students were food insecure in the 30 days preceding the survey. This translates to approximately 10,400 students at UMass.
- 36% of university students were housing insecure in the last year.
- 9% of university students were homeless in the last year. This translates to approximately 2,600 students at UMass.
We know these numbers have only risen as COVID-19 has exacerbated already existing food, financial, and housing insecurity for students and their families. We also know that hunger and homelessness are injustices linked to historical inequities of race, class, and gender; though higher-level systemic change is needed to correct these realities, one small difference we can make is in ensuring adequate access to food resources for every student.