Achieving the Dream Urges Senators to Press for Study of Food Insecurity, Use ATD as an Information Resource

ATD President & CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout has written to the Ranking Members of the U.S. Senate Committees on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions plus Senators Elizabeth Warren and Debbie Stabenow to support their request for a national study of hunger on college and university campuses. The Senators have asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate:

  • the extent of students’ food insecurity and examine barriers to addressing the problem;
  • current programs at all levels of government that assist low-income college students experiencing food insecurity, the effectiveness of the programs and potential improvements; and
  • examples of the best practices and strategies already being used to reduce the problem at colleges and universities.

In addition to supporting the study, Dr. Stout’s letter highlighted ATD’s Working Students Success Network (WSSN) as an example of community colleges’ proactive approach to meeting students’ basic needs, including hunger, in order to help them move up the economic ladder. The WSSN initiative integrates and “bundles” services in a holistic approach that advances students’ education and employment and offers access to income and work supports, financial services and asset building.

Dr. Stout’s letter noted that some of the 19 ATD colleges participating in WSSN help their students apply for public benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). North Arkansas College, for example, created Pete’s Pantry, a food bank for students and their families that also helps students apply for SNAP benefits on site.  The letter also pointed out Canada College’s incentive program, Canada Cash!, that offers students the opportunity to earn cash incentives to practice specific positive money management behaviors.

Learn more about WSSN here and read Dr. Stout’s letter here.

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