Students Feeding Change

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In 2016, Meal Exchange undertook the largest national study of student food insecurity to date by surveying students on five Canadian campuses. The findings of this ‘Hungry for Knowledge’ research, released in October 2016 in Maclean’s magazine, found that 2 in 5 students across five Canadian postsecondary campuses had experienced moderate or severe food insecurity in the prior 12 months.

As a follow up on this study, Meal Exchange recently received support from the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security to launch a 3-year project called ‘Students Feeding Change', that will bring together cross-sectoral stakeholders to share existing data, identify barriers and key points of leverage within the campus context, and develop and pilot strategies to intervene around severe food insecurity at the campus-level on two unique campuses: a large urban setting at Ryerson University in Toronto, and a smaller northern setting at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. By identifying key barriers to student food security and facilitating stakeholder collaboration via a two-stage innovation lab model, we hope to develop and test innovative programs and policies at the campus level to explore what alleviates student food insecurity and what can be effective at creating a measurable reduction