Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) has introduced a bill that would address food and housing insecurity concerns on college campuses across the country.
Last Thursday, Murphy, who is a member of the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, along with Representative Jahana Hayes (CT-5), introduced the Closing the College Hunger Gap Act.
The bill would collect data on food and housing insecurity on campuses across the nation and connect eligible students with resources like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to combat food insecurity. It would further mandate that the Department of Education notify low-income students of their food stamp eligibility when they are applying for federal student aid.
“Our bill creates a uniform standard for the Department of Education to collect data on students who are experiencing food and housing insecurity, and connect them with the resources they’re eligible for so we can tackle this crisis,” Murphy said.
Hayes added that “no student should ever have to worry about finding the money to put the next meal on the table while in class. Hungry students don’t learn. I have seen this firsthand.”
An earlier study conducted by researchers from the University of Iowa and Temple University found that out of 30,000 college students nationally, approximately half of two-year and four-year students are food insecure. Another 2018 study found that 36 percent of college students experience hunger.
A similar report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 30 percent of college students today are food insecure.
Last month, the California Assembly’s Human Services committee cleared Senate Bill 173 to address food insecurity among students by streamlining the application process and removing barriers college students commonly face when enrolling in Cal Fresh, nationally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).