Ten higher education institutions in Alabama are collaborating to end food insecurity among students on state campuses.
Under the banner of Alabama Campus Coalition, the universities will be tasked with making access to food easier and inclusive by collecting data and creating campus-based groups.
The data will be used to design a framework to address food insecurity among students on campuses statewide.
Nationally, approximately half of two-year and four-year students are food insecure. A similar report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 30 percent of college students today are food insecure.
“Food insecurity impacts a student’s ability to focus in the classroom and to complete requirements for class,” said Holly Underwood, the University of North Alabama’s Case Manager.
“Students can become increasingly worried and consumed by efforts to secure basic needs on a daily basis. Our ability to provide resources for food and other basic needs ensures that our students are given the full opportunity to the college experience and the ability to be successful both in and out of the classroom.”
A recent study by the University of Maryland-College Park scholar pointed that lack of access to a reliable supply of nutritious food can make a student fail assignments and exams, withdraw from classes or the university, score lower grade points and even stay away from such important career opportunities as internships.
Institutions that are participating in the initiative are Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Auburn University, Jacksonville State University, Troy University, Tuskegee University, the University of Alabama, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of South Alabama.