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3 Key Takeaways From Our National Campus Survey

On March 20, 2024, we published our public paper and interactive dashboard and launched these resources at our virtual Town Hall: Insights From Our Campus Survey. This report focuses on key aspects of higher education food justice programming like sourcing, distribution, and finances while detailing the opportunities and challenges in these areas. We’re excited to share these incredible findings! If you missed the Town Hall, don’t worry – here are 3 things you need to know:

1. Food insecurity is a national problem and it’s not limited to certain demographics.
The paper was informed by a comprehensive survey of 335 participating campus partners in our network – including public and private schools, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). We also found an impressive variety in the food security programs that campuses offered, emphasizing how creative and resourceful our campus leaders are! Considering the significant increase in need, we’re proud to share that these campuses supported over 600,000 people through food pantries and 54,000 students through meal swipes this past year. 

2. Funding is overwhelmingly the primary challenge for campus food justice programs. 
88% of respondents rely on donations for funding. During the Town Hall, our Programs Director, Sydnie Monegan, explained how this reliance on donations impacts program offerings and campuses’ capacity to meet students’ needs. It’s clear that donations are not always a consistent, sustainable source of funding for respondents; when asked about their biggest challenge, funding was the top answer. “The demand for assistance often outpaces the available inventory, putting pressure on the team to secure enough food to meet the needs of the students they serve,” shared a campus leader. 

3. Partnerships are the key to moving forward, and campus leaders are ready!
Our three panelists, Natasha Byrd and Fynn Grindle from Oglethorpe University and Annette Divolte from Temple University, added depth to the data by sharing their experiences leading their campus programs and perspectives on the future of anti-hunger solutions. They agreed that partnerships, which can take many shapes, are vital in meeting student needs. One survey respondent shared: “Our biggest win was adding fresh produce to our operation! We are proud to have this local produce available to students year-round through a partnership with a local non-profit!”

There is still so much more to learn, so dive deeper into the data with our public paper and new interactive dashboard. To hear directly from our passionate panelists, make sure to watch the Town Hall. If you can’t wait to join the anti-hunger movement, you can support our work or join our campus partner network!


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