The current study examines perceived hunger, which may result from food insecurity, and its effect on academic and athletic performance in students on a liberal arts college campus in New Hampshire. It also examines how students compensate for hunger and their preferences for different types of resources to address hunger. A review of the literature on food insecurity in college students informed the development of a questionnaire on hunger. A mixed-method approach was used to collect qualitative/quantitative data from students of different disciplines. Three hundred and seventy-one students had complete surveys. Thirty-six percent and 34% of students reported that their academic and/or athletic performance, respectively, had been affected by hunger. Forty-seven percent of students responded they would consider taking advantage of an on-campus food pantry. In an open-ended question, students reported concerns about the social stigma related to economic instability and utilizing a food pantry. Our research findings support many on-campus initiatives including the creation of a student-run on-campus food pantry, longer dining common hours, a Swipe It Forward program, and the creation of a task force to address food insecurity on campus and to work with college systems to develop opportunities to better serve students at the college.
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