Prevalence and social determinants of food insecurity among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic

Date

2020

Authors

Owens, Meghan R.
Brito-Silva, Francilia
Kirkland, Tracie
Moore, Carolyn E.
Davis, Kathleen E.
Patterson, Mindy A.
Miketinas, Derek C.
Tucker, Wesley J.

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

MDPI

Abstract

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has increased unemployment and food insecurity in the United States (US). Prior to the pandemic, college students exhibited higher rates of food insecurity than nonstudent households. The objectives of this study were to assess the prevalence and determinants of food insecurity among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. We administered an online survey to 651 students on three diverse campuses at a state-funded university in Texas, US, in May 2020. Food security was assessed using a multistep approach that included the 2-item Food Sufficiency Screener and 6-Item USDA Food Security Survey Module (FSSM). Overall, 34.5% of respondents were classified as food insecure within the last 30 days. The strongest predictors of food insecurity were change in current living arrangement (OR = 2.70, 95% CI: 2.47, 2.95), being furloughed (OR = 3.22, 95% CI: 2.86, 3.64), laid off (OR = 4.07, 95% CI: 3.55, 4.66), or losing part-time work (OR = 5.73, 95% CI: 5.09, 6.46) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These findings highlight the high prevalence of food insecurity among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic, with students who experienced housing insecurity and/or loss of income due to the pandemic being impacted the most.

Description

Keywords

Food security, Hunger, Females, Housing insecurity, Unemployment, Coronavirus

Citation

This is the published version of an article that is available at https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12092515. Recommended citation: Owens, M. R., Brito-Silva, F., Kirkland, T., Moore, C. E., Davis, K. E., Patterson, M. A., Miketinas, D. C., & Tucker, W. J. (2020). Prevalence and social determinants of food insecurity among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nutrients, 12(9), 2515. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.