Food Savvy Friday: Food Insecurity on Campus & in our Community

Hi everyone, welcome back to another Food Savvy Friday. Today we are going to talk about a very important issue on campus and in the world today: food insecurity. Food insecurity can be a difficult and sensitive topic to talk about, especially for students and young adults.

So what exactly does being “food insecure” mean? Well, according to the USDA, it is defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy lifestyle. This definition refers to a shortage of financial resources at the household level, and therefore is different from hunger, which refers more to a personal, physical discomfort. There are many reasons why individuals and families may be food insecure. Some of the barriers to food include:

  • Transportation: an individual can be food insecure if they do not have reliable transportation to healthy food and/or if they live far from a food retailer.
  • Financial: an individual can be food insecure if they cannot afford to buy at their closest food retailer.
  • Lack of time: an individual can be food insecure if they do not have time to prepare or buy food and/or must choose between buying or preparing food and another priority, like childcare or rent.

Although it’s not always obvious, food insecurity is an issue that is very prevalent in our immediate and larger communities. An estimated 1 in 9 Americans are food insecure, equating to over 37 million Americans, including more than 11 million children. On our Michigan campus, over 30% of students struggle with food insecurity.

The Maize and Blue Cupboard is a great resource on campus if you feel like you are struggling with food insecurity. Check out their permanent location at the Betsy Barbour residence hall or their mobile location on North Campus!