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College Campus Food Pantries: Learnings from a 2021 Survey

In 2021, Swipe Out Hunger surveyed college campus pantries following the organization’s acquisition of the College and University Food Bank Alliance (CUFBA). This public paper assesses the current basic needs climate among college food pantries across the U.S., including their inventory, sourcing, services provided, refrigeration, and technological usage rates.

College food pantries play a meaningful role in supporting students’ food insecurity; however, previous studies and policy analyses mostly focus on the negative implications of food insecurity on students’ health and academic achievement. There is a limited assessment of campus food pantries’ experiences and how their unique challenges affect student hunger-relief. Understanding the common barriers pantries face in addressing food insecurity will assist us in identifying sustainable solutions.

This survey’s timely and relevant findings provide critical avenues for policy efforts, resource allocation, and tailored research methods.

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