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What Are Colleges Doing To Ensure Students Have Access To Nutritious Food?

Jeff Helsel
Student Association, Cal U
Members of the Cal U Hockey team Tim Brown '16 and Anthony DiBiccaro '14 assist with unloading and organizing food pantry donations in California Borough on Nov. 13, 2013.

On this edition of Your Call, we’ll discuss hunger on college campuses. As college tuition continues to rise, along with housing costs, many college students can’t meet their basic needs, even at elite schools. 

The Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice surveyed 167,000 students from 123 US colleges and found that nearly half struggle to buy nutritious food. The rates are higher for students of color, LGBTQ students, former foster youth, and those with a criminal record. Campus food pantries are now common, but the use of public benefits programs like SNAP remains low for college students. What needs to change to address this growing crisis?


Vanessa Coca, senior research sssociate at Temple University's Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice College of Education, Temple University

Ruben E. Canedo, food/basic needs co-chair of the UC-wide initiative and chair of the UC Berkeley Basic Needs Committee

Horace Montgomery, executive director of Associated Students at SF State

Tatiana Ramos, assistant at Associated Students at SF State

Web Resources:

NY Times: Tuition or Dinner? Nearly Half of College Students Surveyed in a New Report Are Going Hungry

SF Chronicle: The hidden hungry: A Bay Area paradox

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.