Document Type

Honors Project

Publication Date



Food insecurity is a rapidly growing public health concern all over the world. Federal efforts to reduce food insecurity have shown themselves to be successful in providing lower income people with more access to food (Mabli and Ohls 2014), but they neglect some parts of the population, like college students (Davison and Morrel 2018). The prevalence of food insecurity among United States’ college students varies from 21% to 59% according to different studies, making the percentage of food insecure college students outstandingly larger than at the household level of 11% (Davison and Morrel 2018, Henry 2017). Chaparro et al. (2009) conducted the first study looking at collegiate food insecurity, increasing awareness around this issue. Since then, researchers have found that food insecurity in college students is a serious a problem as, both by itself and through increased likelihood of mental and physical problems, it can negatively affect academic performance (Patton-Lopez et al. 2014, Maroto, Snelling and Link 2015, Bruening 2017). Most research regarding college student hunger is based on large state schools and community colleges. This study differs because it is based on a small, private, residential liberal arts college: Lawrence University. The purpose of this research is to find the prevalence of food insecurity among Lawrence University students, discover how students are coping with hunger, and determine strategies so that the University can better support students who are facing hunger. I have explored these questions through distributing surveys and conducting interviews among students. Results indicate that while there is a limited number of students facing severe food insecurity, many students are living with low and marginal levels of food security.

Level of Honors

cum laude




Mark Jenike