Effects of COVID-19 on University Student Food Security
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.
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" Nutrients 13, no. 6: 1932. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061932.