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THE SANTA MONICA COLLEGE FOUNDATION

Feed Their Aspirations – Help End Food Insecurity Among SMC Students


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Food insecurity among California Community College students, especially students of color, has a strong negative impact on their academic performance. Food insecurity is defined as the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, or the ability to acquire such foods in a socially acceptable manner. A 2017 national survey conducted by the Wisconsin Hope Lab, examined 33,000 students at 70 community colleges across 24 states, including 14 community colleges in California. The survey found that two out of three students attending community colleges are food insecure, with at least one in five students identified at the very lowest levels of food security. Further, African American, Hispanic and Asian students are more food insecure compared with Caucasian students. Community college students adversely impacted by food insecurity are more likely to earn lower grade point averages compared to their community college peers who are food secure. This problem is important to address because students impacted by food insecurity are less likely to persist, graduate, and/or transfer.