Food Access & Student Well-Being Study

The Food Access and Student Well-Being Study

Fall 2017 - Spring 2018

Food insecurity – the lack of reliable access to sufficient quantities of affordable, safe, nutritious food – is a national issue with local impact affecting some students, faculty and staff in our own campus community. The University of Maryland has taken steps to address this issue.

In 2015, researchers from the School of Public Health conducted a food insecurity survey assessing the needs of our students. While the results from the original survey presented food insecurity levels below national averages, this prompted the need for a larger campus-wide survey led by UMD’s Counseling Center Research Unit in partnership with the University of Maryland Department of Dining Services, University Health Center, and Maryland Parent and Family Association to assess the issue more thoroughly and identify specific solutions. Such a study was conducted and concluded at the end of Spring 2018.

Study Results

The final report presents the results of mixed-methods research which surveyed 4,901 UMD undergraduate and graduate students (77% and 23% of the total participants, respectively) representing 12% of the total campus enrollment. Of the students surveyed, 20% reported that they were food insecure. 23 of these students agreed to in-depth interviews on the impacts of food security on their academic success and subjective well-being.

Click here to download the full report.

Watch the webinar below which details the complete findings of study and information about the efforts of the Campus Pantry.

Webinar Outline: 

  • Context: 00:00 - 09:44
  • Description of Research: 09:45 - 11:25
  • Research Findings 11:26 - 41:20
  • Research Impacts: 41:21 - 50:29 

Get Involved

  • Hunger-Free Workgroup: Utilizing the results of The Food Access and Student Well-Being Study and recommendations developed by the Fall 2018 INNOVO Scholars, the University of Maryland created a Hunger-Free Workgroup focused on combating food insecurity and its surrounding issues with the goal of creating a hunger-free campus. All members of the UMD community are welcome to fill out this form for more information.
  • Donate: You can help the Campus Pantry expand its efforts to reach even more students on campus. Donate to support the Campus Pantry online.

Campus Pantry

Since 2014, the Campus Pantry has served in its mission to alleviate food hardship at UMD by providing emergency food to campus community members in need and raising awareness about hunger issues in our own community. Here is a look at the Pantry’s impact: