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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

Food Insecurity with the University Student Population: A Survey at the University of Alaska Anchorage

Status Complete
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 12/01/2012
End Date 07/01/2013
Funding Source Undergraduate Research Grant
Funding Amount
Community Partner
Related Course
Last Updated 01/30/2013 05:18PM
Keywords food security


  Nelta Edwards

Student Researchers
  Rachel Wintz


Look into any University of Alaska Anchorage student's refrigerator and what do you see? The truthful answer to that question is that we do not know. Several departments within the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) have identified food insecurity as a pressing issue for students. Commuter Student Services, the UAA Student Health and Counseling Center, Student Activities. and UAA Advancement have all responded to this issue with programs including the Daily Den, Emergency Food Cache, Snackin' Wagon, and the 'Free Food' section in Green and Gold e-mail announcements. Food insecurity is defined as, ''the state of either: having limited or uncertain access to food that is nutritionally adequate, culturally acceptable, and safe, or having an uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways" (Bauer. et. al, 2012). In the United States as a whole, 14.9% of Americans experience food insecurity (Coleman-Jensen 2011). In Alaska. the number rests at 14.6% and in the Anchorage area 12.3% of residents are food insecure (Feeding America 201 0). Studies have shown that
university students experience a higher rate of food insecurity than the wider opulation (Hughes. Serebryanikova. Donaldson. & Leveritt 2011 and Pia Chaparro. Zaghloul. Holck, &Dobbs 2009). Beyond participation rates in the aforementioned UAA food programs, there is insufficient data to support the assumption that UAA students experience increased rates of food insecurity. This research proposal endeavors to answer that question by surveying 500 UAA students about their level of food security (see the survey tool in Appendix 1 of this proposal). When the results have been compiled, the final report will illuminate the reality of the level of food insecurity for students at the University of Alaska Anchorage. which will inform future university actions and policy regarding this issue.

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