Food for Thought

When you think of college students, you probably envision smart young people full of energy and ideas. Their lives are filled with possibility. They’re hungry to learn and hungry for opportunity.

Many, however, are simply hungry.

1 in 3

HSU students say that it is often or sometimes true that they run out of food they bought and that they don’t have money to get more.

1 in 5

HSU students say that they have regularly skipped meals because there wasn't enough money for food.

1 in 14

HSU students say that at least once in the last year, they didn’t eat for an entire day because there wasn’t enough money for food.

Initial data from an ongoing study as well as an earlier student-led research project.

Faced with the rising cost of tuition, rent, and groceries, these students may not eat for days in order to cover expenses or to help support their families. Or they’re getting by on cheap, unhealthy fare. The result is a group of students focused on questions of survival rather than their studies. Not surprisingly, many end up dropping out of school.

Student hunger is a growing concern at colleges around the country. Here at Humboldt State, we’re working to fix it through Food for Thought, a project that attacks the problem from all angles.

  • Food assistance
    • HSU Food Cupboard: This is short-term emergency aid to HSU students. The goal of the service is to provide a variety of healthy food to students who need food immediately.
    • Campus CalFresh: For long-term help, students can turn to CalFresh. This program, which grew out of the OH SNAP! student initiative, administers the government-funded food assistance benefits program and helps connect students to other campus and community resources.
  • Wellness and Health Education: There’s eating, and there’s eating well—a distinction Food for Thought embraces through education. The program offers recipes, nutrition tips, and cooking classes to teach students how to turn relatively inexpensive food staples into healthy meals.
  • Research: How prevalent is college hunger? Who exactly is experiencing college hunger? How many students are getting food assistance? These are some of the questions that student and faculty researchers involved with Food for Thought are trying to answer. Their research will be shared at conferences, in academic publications, and through the media.
  • Policy: Oftentimes programs are in place, but legal and procedural hurdles make it all but impossible for students to access that help. Students involved with Food for Thought are examining these issues and looking for new strategies to address food insecurity. They plan to present their ideas to policymakers, potentially helping other students statewide or nationally.

Working together, we can take on college hunger and make sure students here and across the country are able to thrive.

Food for Thought Co-Facilitators

  • Department of Social Work
  • HSU Health Education Program

Project Partners

  • Department of Health & Human Services/CalFresh
  • Altruistic Personality Institute
  • Food for People

Give now online or send a check to:

Humboldt State University Advancement Foundation
Gift Processing Center
1 Harpst Street
Arcata, CA 95521

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