Effects of COVID-19 on University Student Food Security

Winham, Donna
Davitt, Elizabeth
Heer, Michelle
Winham, Donna
Knoblauch, Simon
Shelley, Mack
Shelley, Mack
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During COVID-19 restrictions in spring 2020, college students experienced closed dormitories and increased unemployment and many students moved in with their families. College students were vulnerable to food insecurity pre-pandemic and this study examined how the living situations and food security status changed for Midwestern university students due to COVID-19 restrictions. An email survey administered to Iowa State University students between the ages of 18 and 30 who physically attended campus prior to its closure produced 1434 responses. Students living with a parent or guardian increased by 44% and were less likely to experience food insecurity or less likely to work. They had lower stress and ate more home-cooked meals. Students living on their own had higher rates of food insecurity, greater stress, poorer health status, higher cooking self-efficacy, and worked more hours. Seventeen percent of all students were food insecure; related factors were non-White ethnicity, lower cooking self-efficacy, undergraduate status, receipt of financial aid, employment, stress, living in the same situation as before the campus closure, and consumption of more take-out or fast food. These individuals had more barriers to food access. Knowledge of these factors provide useful information to inform future support services for this population in similar conditions.

<p>This article is published as Davitt, Elizabeth D.; Heer, Michelle M.; Winham, Donna M.; Knoblauch, Simon T.; Shelley, Mack C. 2021. "Effects of COVID-19 on University Student Food Security" <em>Nutrients</em> 13, no. 6: 1932. https://doi.org/<a target="_blank">10.3390/nu13061932</a>. </p>
college students, food insecurity, coronavirus, young adults