Undergraduate Food Security: Barriers & Resistances to Food Access in Student Life

Authors: Dominica Whitesell*, University of Texas - Austin, Jayme Walenta, University of Texas at Austin
Topics: Geography and Urban Health
Keywords: food security, feminist geographies, neoliberal university
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/9/2020
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Plaza Ballroom D, Sheraton, Concourse Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The sizable disjuncture between average rates of food insecurity among US households (12%), and rates of food insecurity experienced by undergraduate student populations in the US, ranging anywhere from 25% to 55%, deeply concerns us. The purpose of our research is to understand the role that student life at a post-secondary education institution might play in contributing to increased rates of food insecurity noted by scholars. Here, we put food security at university level in conversation with neoliberalization literatures to draw links between the student experience with respect to food access and increasing trends towards a neoliberal university experience. Specifically, our research asks three interrelated questions. What is the rate of food insecurity experienced by undergraduates at the University of Texas? Further, what role does the campus and/or student life play in contributing to food insecurity? Finally, do students feel satisfied in meeting their food needs on a day to day basis, despite possible classification as food insecure?

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