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A study on student food insecurity aimed at decreasing student hunger is underway at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Interim Chancellor David Lassner sent out a message on May 1, 2017 asking students to provide information about their level of personal food security.

“This research survey is intended to help us understand the food security status and needs of UH Mānoa students,” said Lassner in the email. “It is our intention to use the information gathered through this study to develop a plan to decrease food insecurity at Mānoa, beginning with the identification and prioritization of solutions that help our students.”

The Feed The Degree Food Insecurity Survey was initiated by students for a UH Mānoa graduate food systems class. They collected more than 800 student signatures on a petition requesting the survey be created, which they presented to Lassner.

The project is a follow-up to a 2006 study on food insecurity on the Mānoa campus (PDF), and based on the federal criteria at that time, 24 percent of students were found to be marginally food secure and 21 percent to be food insecure (15 percent low food secure and 6 percent very low food secure). The study only had 408 responses, which were too few to develop a plan.

The Feed the Degree UH Mānoa survey comes as the issue continues to gain national attention. In February 2017, a group of U.S. senators requested that the General Accountability Office conduct a study on food insecurity at American colleges and universities.

Making good decisions is based on adequate information and the #FeedTheDegree survey is about that. Students are asked to check their email for the survey link.

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