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Faculty & Staff Honors

Minnesota: Laska Begins First-of-its-kind Study Exploring College Student Food Insecurity

Recent research shows the average rate of campus food insecurity is 35-42 percent, which means one in every two-to-three college students lacks enough food to eat.

“College food insecurity has been linked with adverse health and academic outcomes for students, including difficulty concentrating in class, lower grade point average, and higher deferment rates,” said Dr. Melissa Laska, a professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

To bring clarity to the problem, Dr. Laska is leading a study to fill key knowledge gaps around college hunger and provide formative research needed to develop and evaluate evidence-based policies and interventions for campus hunger relief in the future. The research is being funded by a Grand Challenges grant from the University of Minnesota.

This research is the first robust mixed methods study of its kind on college food insecurity, health, and well-being. 

Dr. Laska plans to answer many key questions through her study, including:

“Our team is deeply dedicated to the notion that no young people should have to choose between their pursuit of higher education and feeding themselves,” said Dr. Laska. “We are committed to identifying evidence-based, scalable strategies that institutions can employ to make this a reality.”

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