The Campus Hunger Reduction Act of 2018 makes institutions of higher education eligible for the Community Food Projects grant program, a grant available through the U.S. Department of Agriculture that helps nonprofits and public agencies address hunger through food distribution, outreach, increased self-reliance, and more. Currently, institutions of higher education are ineligible for the program despite the pervasiveness of hunger among college students. Reps. Chu and Marshall released the following statements:
“Food insecurity – not knowing what or when your next meal will be – is far too pervasive in our country,” said Rep. Chu.“And while programs like WIC and SNAP can help feed our children while they still live at home, students who leave for college suddenly find themselves largely on their own. That’s why one recent study found that 36% of four-year college and university students and 42% of two-year community college students reported not having enough food to eat, and 10% of community college students and 6% of university students reported not eating for an entire day. This isn’t just a moral concern. Hungry students are also at a disadvantage in class where they have a harder time paying attention and meeting their full potential. I am proud of institutions, like the colleges in my district, that have established services like food pantries to help students in need. But Congress’s obligation to ensuring nobody goes hungry does not vanish when they enter college. That is what this bill is meant to address by extending this existing grant program to include institutions of higher education.”
“In the United States 41 million people struggle with hunger, food insecurity transcends all age groups,” said Rep. Marshall, M.D. “I’m proud to be a part of this effort that will enable our colleges and universities to build out programs and partnerships to alleviate hunger among the students they serve.”
The Campus Hunger Reduction Act of 2018 is supported by Feeding America, Swipe Out Hunger, the College and University Food Bank Alliance, and MAZON: The Jewish Response to Hunger.