Hunger in Higher Education: Experiences and Correlates of Food Insecurity among Wisconsin Undergraduates from Low-Income Families

Social Sciences, 2018
Katharine M. Broton, Kari E. Weaver, and Minhtuyen Mai

There is growing awareness that a substantial share of undergraduates are food insecure, potentially undermining investments in higher education and hindering upward social mobility. This mixed-methods paper uses survey and interview data from low-income students at 42 public colleges and universities in Wisconsin to illuminate the day-to-day experiences of food insecurity and examine how food security status varies across background characteristics. Results indicate that students who grew up in food insecure homes, self-identify as a racial/ethnic minority, live off-campus, and attend college in an urban area are significantly more likely to report the lowest level of food security, often associated with hunger.

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