Journeys to the food bank : exploring the experience of food insecurity among postsecondary students

by Mary A Nugent

Institution: University of Lethbridge
Year: 2012
Keywords: Food banks  – Alberta  – Lethbridge; Food relief  – Alberta  – Lethbridge; College students  – Health and hygiene  – Alberta  – Lethbridge; Dissertations, Academic
Record ID: 1959187
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10133/3228


xi, 304 leaves ; 29 cm Food insecurity is a global issue giving rise to health inequities affecting populations at all life stages. Postsecondary student food insecurity exists, yet is an understudied phenomenon. To provide insight into the perspectives and experiences of food insecurity in the postsecondary population, university students (n=15) who accessed a campus food bank were interviewed utilizing person-centered interviewing. The social determinants of health (SDH) and structural violence theory provided conceptual guidance for the qualitative study. Students were found to lead complex lives, shouldering many responsibilities. They valued their health; however, they lacked the necessary supports to maintain adequate nutritional intake. They employed multiple strategies to mitigate their food insecurity issues, while concurrently making sacrifices and experiencing suffering. Three economic pathways leading students to food bank use included shortfall, cumulative and catastrophic pathways. This research offers increased understanding of food insecurity in this vulnerable population, exposing inequities which must be addressed. Keywords: