University Presentation Showcase: Undergraduate Division

Project Title

Understanding Student Food Insecurity at Eastern Kentucky University: Beyond the Numbers

Presenter Hometown

Harlan, KY

Major

Anthropology

Department

Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work

Degree

Undergraduate

Mentor

Amanda Green

Mentor Department

Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work

Abstract

Food insecurity, defined as a lack of availability and accessibility to food, impacts individuals throughout the United States at a national rate of 12%. College campuses are no stranger to food insecurity, with estimates of prevalence ranging from 14-50% in studies conducted across U.S. campuses. The state of Kentucky has a relatively high rate of residents with food insecurity at approximately 15%; in a 2018 survey conducted at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), approximately 30% of participants responded that they ate less than they felt they should because there wasn’t enough money for food. Given these numbers, we asked undergraduate students on EKU’s campus to participate in ethnographic interviews and surveys in order to fully understand the complexity of food insecurity as well as the impact that it has on student success at EKU. The ethnographic nature of the research gets to the root of the student experience to fully allow us to understand food insecurity in a real-world setting. This poster presents initial findings from our 2019-2020 study.

Presentation format

Poster

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Understanding Student Food Insecurity at Eastern Kentucky University: Beyond the Numbers

Food insecurity, defined as a lack of availability and accessibility to food, impacts individuals throughout the United States at a national rate of 12%. College campuses are no stranger to food insecurity, with estimates of prevalence ranging from 14-50% in studies conducted across U.S. campuses. The state of Kentucky has a relatively high rate of residents with food insecurity at approximately 15%; in a 2018 survey conducted at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), approximately 30% of participants responded that they ate less than they felt they should because there wasn’t enough money for food. Given these numbers, we asked undergraduate students on EKU’s campus to participate in ethnographic interviews and surveys in order to fully understand the complexity of food insecurity as well as the impact that it has on student success at EKU. The ethnographic nature of the research gets to the root of the student experience to fully allow us to understand food insecurity in a real-world setting. This poster presents initial findings from our 2019-2020 study.