Open Access Peer-reviewed Research Article

Assessing food insecurity at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock

Main Article Content

Tracey M. Barnett McElwee corresponding author
Allison Ames Boykin
Cynthia Wyman Bookwalter
Reina Olivo


In 2014, 567,250 (19.1%) Arkansans were classified as food insecure (Feeding America, 2016). According to Dubick, Mathews, and Cady (2016), 48% of students at community colleges and four-year colleges/universities qualified as food insecure. For this study, we implemented a non-probability convenience sample of 478 students enrolled at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR). Of the students who completed the survey: 54% identified as White; 37% Black or African American; 6% Hispanic or Latino; 3.5% Asian; 1% Native American and 62% were 19-24 years old. In terms of food security, 22.4% had enough to eat, but not always the kinds of food they wanted, 4.5% sometimes did not have enough to eat, 20.4% had to cut the size of their meals or skip meals because there was not enough money for food in the past three months, and 22.5% could not afford to eat balanced meals in the past three months. When one is always in search of their next meal, improper impulse controls can develop. Those who are food insecure or hungry, treat every meal as if it were their last. The link between food accessibility and academic performance can illustrate ways that policymakers can address the issue to help alleviate poverty and increase the chances that children can go to college and stay in college. By collaborating with students, faculty, and staff, UALR can increase its methods to address food insecurity among its college students.

food insecurity, UALR

Article Details

How to Cite
Barnett McElwee, T., Boykin, A., Bookwalter, C., & Olivo, R. (2019). Assessing food insecurity at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Social Work and Social Welfare, 1(1), 37-44.


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