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Below is an excerpt from a testimony submitted for the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee on March 5, 2019.
The UConn Rudd Center applauds the Committee for raising H.B. 7257. Food insecurity among college students is a significant issue that has received relatively little research or policy attention. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as having limited or uncertain access to enough food for an active, healthy life. The prevalence of food insecurity in the U.S. is measured annually and in 2017, 11.8% of households reported low or very low food security. A number of surveys have been done to assess the prevalence of food insecurity among college students; however, the 2018 US. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report concluded that there is a need for nationally representative data. In the meantime, the data that do exist are very concerning: a recent survey of 43,000 students from over 60 community colleges and 4-year colleges/universities found that 36% of students reported experiencing food insecurity in the last 30 days. This is triple the rate of food-insecurity among all U.S. households in 2017.