College Students Are Hungry and Homeless—and Not Getting Enough Help

"A recent survey of nearly 86,000 students found that 45 percent of respondents reported food insecurity in the previous 30 days, meaning they had limited or uncertain access to food. Fifty-six percent had been housing insecure in the previous year—that is, they were unable to pay full rent, lived in overcrowded conditions, or experienced other instability. Seventeen percent had been homeless at some point during the year. Despite a lack of representative national data, the evidence has continued to mount, and a steady stream of news stories has documented what it looks like on the ground: students sleeping in airports and in their cars, taking “hunger naps” when they can’t afford to eat, trading tips on how to keep their homework dry when living in the woods."

“It’s difficult trying to decide what’s more important, my education or taking care of myself, because it’s almost an either-or.”

"Until that happens, too many students will overcome huge odds to get to college only to find the promises made about higher education ring hollow. As Carolyn Tinoco, a master’s student at California State University, Dominguez Hills, who scrubbed toilets and ate from the food pantry to get through college, put it: “You’re selling me the American dream, but you’re really just dangling it in my face.”"