This study explored the barriers and facilitators to the successful implementation and sustainment of food insecurity initiatives on college campuses. Respondents (n = 65) included faculty, staff, administrators, and student leaders at higher education institutions in 28 states. Through an online survey, respondents reported experiencing multiple barriers (mean 3.7, SD 1.7) when implementing food insecurity initiatives. The three most commonly reported barriers were funding (79.4%), marketing/student awareness (74.6%), and stigma (60.3%). Public institutions were found to more commonly face accessibility (p = 0.005), volunteer (p = 0.008), and stigma (p = 0.042) barriers compared to private institutions. Themes regarding Campus Culture, Resources and Operations, and Data Collection were considered facilitators to sustaining campus-based initiatives. Food insecurity is a barrier to academic performance, perseverance, and success yet initiatives to aid food insecure students are hindered by lack of institutional support and integration into campus culture. Higher education administrators should look to the barriers and facilitators identified in this study to ensure the initiatives on campus have the supports needed to succeed. Further study implications and a root cause analysis are discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- College food insecurity
- basic needs
- campus culture
- initiatives and programs