College Student Food & Housing Insecurity | Department of Biological Sciences

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November 19, 2018

College Student Food & Housing Insecurity

The Department of Biological Sciences recognizes the fact some of our students may be experiencing homelessness and/or food insecurities, which is a growing problem across the US at many colleges and universities. With rising tuition, housing and the cost of textbooks; often times, for students eating can become a luxury. In an effort to address this issue on UNT's campus, we would like to spotlight a couple of organizations that may be of assistance; especially, during the Holiday Season.

According to a first-of-its-kind survey:

"The Bottom Line: This is the largest national survey assessing the basic needs security of university students. It is the HOPE Lab's 3rd national survey; the other two focused on community colleges. This year we report on 43,000 students at 66 institutions in 20 states and the District of Columbia. That includes over 20,000 students at 35 4-year colleges and universities, as well as students at community colleges.1 We find: • 36% of university students were food insecure in the 30 days preceding the survey. This year's estimate for community college students is 42%, but our larger study last year found 56%.2 • 36% of university students were housing insecure in the last year. Housing insecurity affected 51% of community college students in last year's study, and 46% in this year's study. • 9% of university students were homeless in the last year. In comparison, 12% of community college students were homeless in this year's survey, and 14% in last year's survey. The data show that basic needs insecurities disproportionately affect marginalized students and are associated with long work hours and higher risk of unemployment. However, the level of academic effort - in and outside the classroom--is the same regardless of whether or not students are dealing with food and housing insecurity. It is therefore critically important to match their commitments with supports to ensure degree completion."

The Dean of Students Office at the University of North Texas, has established a Food Pantry (located in The Union) that is accessible to ANY current UNT student. The Pantry is open 8:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. on Friday, this semester. While there, students can request to meet with a staff member to discuss any difficulties they may be facing. When appropriate, referrels to can be made to other campus and community resources.

If you don't feel comfortable requesting assistance at the UNT Food Pantry, here is a listing of area Mobile Food Pantry sites, dates and times.

If you need assistance with Housing the below Agencies provide rental assistance to qualified individuals.

Interfaith Ministries of Denton

Giving Hope, Inc of Denton

Serve Denton

Lastly, we strongly encourage any student who is experiencing homelessness, food insecurity or any other stressors to please speak with your professor, staff or the Department Chair. We are all here to help you to achieve your goals.