Even hungrier for knowledge: A 10-year follow-up study on vulnerability to food insecurity amongst students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal
Keywords:Food insecurity, South African University Students
Research on the extent of food insecurity amongst the South African university student population has gained momentum over the past decade, and for good reason. Along with the multiple other challenges that South African university students face (e.g. funding shortfalls, limited access to student housing, high levels of failure and dropout, institutional bureaucracy, and oppressive colonial legacies), students being chronically hungry and unable to access safe and nutritious food on a regular basis remains a notable crisis. This article reports on a 10-year follow-up study on the extent of vulnerability to food insecurity amongst students registered at the University of ABC (UABC). Whereas data collected for the initial 2007–2009 study only targeted students from one of the five UABC campuses, the current study improved on the sampling strategy and collected data from 438 students registered across all five UABC campuses in 2018. Using the University Students Food Insecurity Questionnaire, as developed during the initial study and adapted from the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale, the findings from the current study suggest that 49% of the UABC student population experience serious to severe levels of vulnerability to food insecurity. This is more than double the reported levels of serious to severe vulnerability to food insecurity found in the initial study. This article reports on how and why food insecurity levels may have escalated unchecked over the past decade.
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Copyright (c) 2023 Nicholas Munro, Lindani Msimango
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