LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 21, 2017) — College students not being able to get enough to eat is not something many of us ever think about. Yet, the issue is very real.
According to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, 17 percent of Kentucky residents struggle with lack of reliable access to affordable, healthful food. Food insecurity is not only common across the Commonwealth, but also among students in colleges and universities in Kentucky and beyond. A comprehensive survey of college students at 34 community colleges and four-year colleges in 12 states found that 48 percent of students qualified as food insecure in the previous 30 days. Whether due to the stress of managing financial hardship or nutritional shortfalls, students’ food insecurity can compromise their ability to do well in their courses and complete a degree.
Against this backdrop, all University of Kentucky students are encouraged to take the UK Food Access Survey between now and Nov. 19. The survey will evaluate factors influencing food and housing security at UK. Results of the survey will advise future research and programs that will support students at the university.
The survey takes less than 10 minutes; participants have a chance of winning a $10 Amazon gift card. Students may take the survey here or online at https://uky.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3rcVF3Ow8g2TLqB.
“We know that students who struggle to put food on the table also struggle to focus in their courses, obtain required materials, graduate and, ultimately, rise above conditions that college was meant to cure,” said Amanda Hege, director of Community Outreach for the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, part of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “By hearing directly from students at UK, we will better understand their challenges and can find ways to support them in being successful. Even though the survey is anonymous, we want students to know they aren’t alone and we are here to help.”
This project is a collaborative effort between the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition; Department of Writing, Rhetoric and Digital Studies; SSTOP Hunger: Sustainable Solutions to Overcome Poverty; and the Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky. It is supported by funding from The Food Connection’s Student Opportunity Grant and UK’s Inclusive Excellence Grant.
UK is the University for Kentucky. At UK, we are educating more students, treating more patients with complex illnesses and conducting more research and service than at any time in our 150-year history. To read more about the UK story and how you can support continued investment in your university and the Commonwealth, go to: uky.edu/uk4ky. #uk4ky #seeblue