UH Moment

UH Moment: New Research Tackles College Hunger

The study is funded by the William T. Grant Foundation and the Kresge Foundation for two years, and if successful could provide a blueprint to help more low-income students complete their degree

60 percent of low-income students at Houston Community College (HCC) leave school within a year of enrolling.  One of the biggest reasons is food insecurity. A study from the Wisconsin HOPE lab estimates 56 percent of students at community college do not have access to healthy food.

“These are students who really have a difficult time making ends meet,” said Daphne Hernandez, assistant professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at the University of Houston.

Hernandez and a team of researchers from UH launching a new study that hopes to help low-income students stay enrolled. The Houston Food Bank will provide a food scholarship to a group of 2,000 low-income students at HCC,  giving them direct access to healthy food.

“The idea is if we are providing food, they can hopefully not have to work that late night shift or something that is preventing them from focusing on school,” Hernandez said.

The study is funded by the William T. Grant Foundation and the Kresge Foundation for two years, and if successful could provide a blueprint to help more low-income students complete their degree.

“If this works then this can be not only a statewide, but a nationwide program,” Hernandez said.

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