Among identified well-being outcomes of TSR that require further attention is access and health (Anderson, 2013). In this research, we address college student food access; a major overlooked problem in the education service system. Across the United States, 14 to 59% of college students experience food insecurity during any given year; the average is 21% (cufba.org; Kolowick 2015). This is a real, pervasive problem and it is worse for minority and low-income students (McKenna 2016). Preliminary data suggest that students at the focal university experience food insecurity at a higher rate than average.
Our study follows a grounded theory perspective using mixed methods to build the problem framework and co-create appropriate solutions. Quantitatively, we identify not only who is hungry; but also when in the university experience this occurs. The phase also collects data about correlates to campus hunger to identify the breadth of the problem. Qualitative research is used first to offer a deep-dive into the problem through which contributing factors to food insecurity can be more extensively identified and understood. Increased clarity of the problem allows more targeted and effective solution development.