What are you having for dinner tonight? If you’re reading this from the comfort of your office chair you might be looking ahead to dinner out with a friend. Perhaps that question stresses you out because you’ve been too busy to go grocery shopping. But what if you had no idea what you’re having for dinner tonight because you don’t have the money to buy food?
According to the 2019 College and University Basic Needs Insecurity: A National #RealCollege Survey Report, 45% of college student survey respondents reported they were food insecure in the previous 30 days. In addition, 56% of respondents reported they were housing insecure in the previous year. Food and housing insecurity undermine not just academic success of college students but also impacts their overall health.
While colleges and universities are increasingly aware that their students may be food or housing insecure, they don’t know specifically which of their students needs help. After attending last year’s #RealCollege conference our team better understood the magnitude of the problem and realized that Starfish could be part of the solution.
We’re joining forces with The Hope Center for College, Community and Justice to develop a way for Starfish institutions to identify food and housing insecure students, and connect them to support services on campus. Starfish Project Hope will use the Starfish Intake Form to allow students to answer questions about their food and housing needs. The institution can then use this information to respond to their students’ needs. In addition, The Hope Center will analyze the anonymized intake form data for use in research to expand understanding of the scope and patterns of food and housing insecurity.
If you are interested in learning more about the project and perhaps having your institution participate please visit the Starfish Project Hope landing page for more information and to sign up for our communications.