Project Type

URC Presentation

College or School


Class Year



Molecular, Cellular and Biomedical Sciences



Faculty Research Advisor

Jesse Morrell


In 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households. Of these, 15.8 million were children. As college students are excluded from national surveillance data, it is difficult to characterize the prevalence of food insecurity among this population. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of food insecurity among undergraduate students and what characteristics are associated with food insecurity. Students (18-­‐24 years) were recruited from the ongoing College Health and Nutrition Assessment Survey at the University of New Hampshire (UNH). A 26 item online survey was developed by combining the USDA 6-­‐item Short Form U.S. Household Food Security Survey, the USDA Child Food Security Survey, and 11 UNH specific questions related to food access. The survey was administered to all students enrolled in a general nutrition class in fall 2014 (n = 418); response rate=50.5% (n=211, 84% female). Survey results indicated 11.4% of students reported low food security and 6.2% reported marginal food security during their childhood. During the past 12 months, 12.4% reported experiencing low food security and 5.7% reported marginal food security. Students who lived in on-­‐campus housing were more likely to report food security as compared to those living in off-­‐campus apartments (86% vs 57%, p<.05); no differences in race, sex, marital status, or parents’ education were observed between students who were food secure vs. insecure. The findings of this study suggest that food insecurity exists on the UNH campus and further research related to food availability and education is needed.