Nutrition and Food Sciences Assistant Professor Trishnee Bhurosy has published findings from a systematic review of factors associated with student use of campus food pantries, and the implications for addressing barriers and facilitating their use.
This first systematic review provides information about factors that help or pose a challenge to students when using college food pantries and which student subgroups are likely to use an on-campus food pantry. One of the most significant findings was that stigma related to the usage of food pantries was structural, internalized, or perceived by other people.
Participants who were more likely to use a campus food pantry were food-insecure (either chronic or episodic), those on student loans or receiving federal financial support, Asian students, Hispanic/Latino students, Filipino or Pacific Islander, first-generation, undergraduates, international students, Pell Grant recipients, and those living off-campus and without stable housing.
Food insecurity among university students is a social justice and public health issue that needs to be addressed by academic institutions and other stakeholders. Campus food pantry leaders, university administrators, and policymakers need to work together to create cost-effective and sustainable solutions that will alleviate the stigma and burden of food-insecure students and provide them with safe, nutritious, and culturally acceptable foods.