9 Crucial Student Hunger Statistics 2022

College students are facing hunger and starvation because most of them have financial resources which are limited. Due to that, they often need to turn to food banks or some other type of support and food assistance.

How many students are suffering from hunger? How does that impact their academic achievements?

Today, we’re talking about student hunger statistics. We gathered all the data about the USA students so keep on reading to find out everything you need to know.

3 Key Student Hunger Statistics

  • 50% of community college students are food insecure.
  • 15% of students are food insecure and 44% of them finish college.
  • More than 50% of students didn’t apply for any support program.

9 Student Hunger Statistics

1. Millions of college students are at risk of facing hunger.

According to the data provided by Feeding America, there are over 20 million college students in the USA. This means that millions of college students are at risk of facing hunger. Food insecurity and eventually hunger and starvation can have a great impact on students’ learning abilities, focus, and concentration, not to mention the high risk of suffering hunger-related diseases such as undernourishment and malnutrition.

2. About 50% of community college students are food insecure.

Hunger on Campus conducted the study and found out that 47% of four-year college students and 50% of community college students are food insecure. These are high percentages of young adults who suffer from a lack of food. The most common reason for students’ food insecurity is money-based such as rising tuition and housing costs, financial independence, and affordability of food.

Source: Hunger on Campus and Feeding America

3. College meal plans are expensive.

Speaking of the problem of affordability, the average college meal plan costs around $4,500 per year for a three-meal-a-day plan. That is $18,75 per day. The plan covers the entire academic year, however, many colleges require students to have a meal plan in order to live on campus. And that amount of money is high to pay, especially for students whose financial resources are limited.

9 Student Hunger Statistics 2022 - Costs

Source: Feeding America

4. Around 1 in 5 students is caring for a child.

These days, many students already have a child, while some of them are single parents. So besides paying for tuition costs, they’re also combining college with parenting and working full-time. Due to that, they often need to skip a meal to provide food for their child or they simply don’t have enough money to buy some food due to all other expenses.

Source: Feeding America

5. Almost 40% of students faced food insecurity before the pandemic.

Students were fighting food insecurity even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Just a month before everything has started, a study by The Counter stated that 39% of students had struggled with food insecurity at some point in that month. The number of food-insecure students has definitely increased since the start of the pandemic.

Source: The Counter

6. During college, 15% of students were food insecure.

According to The Counter’s study, 15% of students were food insecure during their college years and only 44% of them managed to complete their degree. On the other hand, food-secure students completed their degrees at a high rate of 68%. Food insecurity has a high impact on students and their studying focus.

9 Student Hunger Statistics 2022 - Food Insecure Students

Source: The Counter

7. Students who got infected with COVID-19 were 1.7 times more likely to experience food insecurity.

The already mentioned COVID-19 pandemic certainly had a big impact on students. According to the data provided by Forbes Advisor, students who had COVID-19 were 1.7 times more likely to experience food insecurity compared to those who hadn’t been infected with the virus. No doubt that now, 2 years into the pandemic, that percentage increased even more.

Source: Forbes Advisor

8. There are 30% of students who visit food banks on a monthly basis.

A study conducted in the fall of 2020, showed that there were 52% of students who used off-campus food banks in order to get food assistance. 30% of them went to the food bank monthly or more frequently. Many people use food bank assistance in America, so it isn’t surprising that students are amongst them. Especially considering the fact that they are quite limited regarding their financial possibilities.

Source: Forbes Advisor

9. More than 50% of students didn’t apply for support programs because they didn’t know how to do it.

The problem regarding food insecurity is that a small number of people even understand what it means and how it is defined. Food insecurity isn’t talked about that often and due to that, not many people understand that they can apply for various support programs regarding housing or food assistance. 52% of students who faced food or housing insecurity in 2020, didn’t apply to any of the support programs just because they didn’t know how to do it.

Source: The Hope Center

To Wrap It Up

Students are quite vulnerable and a high number of them are suffering from hunger and starvation which certainly has a massive impact on their academic achievements. What’s even more frightening is the fact that more than half of the students don’t even know that they can search for help, support, and assistance in fighting these problems in order to get their degree, as well as a better and more stable future. Hopefully, there we’ll be more education on food insecurity in the upcoming years which will definitely be helpful not only to students but to an entire world’s population too.

Ana loves sharing unusual recipes, combining herbs and spices, writing about current news, and studies about food trends and restaurants. She lives in Croatia and in her free time, she loves cooking and tasting different wine nuances, as well as traveling and enjoying the local cuisine. Ana’s favorite combination is based on seafood and red wines from the south.