Food insecurity sidebars



The USDA categorizes food insecurity into four levels:

  1. High food security—Households had no problems, or anxiety about, consistently accessing adequate food.

  2. Marginal food security—Households had problems at times, or anxiety about, accessing adequate food, but the quality, variety, and quantity of their food intake were not substantially reduced.

  3. Low food security—Households reduced the quality, variety, and desirability of their diets, but the quantity of food intake and normal eating patterns were not substantially disrupted.

  4. Very low food security—At times during the year, eating patterns of one or more household members were disrupted and food intake reduced because the household lacked money and other resources for food.


Hunger differs from food insecurity because hunger is a potential consequence of food insecurity that, because of prolonged, involuntary lack of food, results in discomfort, illness, weakness, or pain that goes beyond the usual uneasy sensation according to the USDA and exists on the very low food security level.




College Student Eligibility for SNAP


According to the CLASP website, which is a national, nonpartisan, anti-poverty nonprofit advancing policy solutions for low-income people, that breaks down the SNAP policy so it’s understandable, SNAP eligibility is based on monthly income, so Congress was concerned that college students from middle class families could qualify even though they don’t need help. Therefore, most college students that are attending as at least a part time student, are excluded from receiving SNAP, but there are a set of exceptions that apply to many non-traditional and low-income students.


To receive SNAP benefits while attending college as at least a part time student, the student must be working at least 20 hours per week or receiving work-study funds. Students income must also not exceed $981 a month. For those that do qualify, The maximum monthly amount for one person to receive from SNAP is $189 a month but most recipients receive less because they earn more than others in need.


Students who live in dorms or purchase more than half their meals from a meal plan are not eligible for benefits. Undocumented non-citizens and non-citizens with temporary status, including those who entered with student visas, are not eligible for SNAP benefits which puts international students with need here at Kent State at a disadvantage. There are many more requirements and qualifications for SNAP and can be found in detail on the federal website.




If you can help:


The Women’s Center on campus accepts donations of any size and urges students who can help, or have extra money on their meal plan to donate to the pantry to help students in need.


Cassie Pegg-Kirby, the director the the pantry said that snack sized food and cans with pop-top lids are very sought after since it offers convenience to students who may not own a cooking utensils or equipment like can openers or stoves.


She said food donated at the end of the spring semester helps to sustain the pantry over the summer months when donations start to run low. Students interested in donating can check the Women’s center website for a list of items they need, or buy what they like and call ahead before bringing it over.


If you’re in need:


Kent Social Services is located at 1066 S. Water Street in Kent and offers hot meals every day except Saturday to anyone who stops in at the designated times.


Social Services also provides a service where students can call 330-673-6963 to schedule a pantry appointment to come collect groceries once a month with proof of residence.


Student’s seeking help from the Women’s Center Pantry, located on campus in the Alumni Carriage House at 125 Midway Drive, can call 330-672-9230 or come in during their hours to access the pantry.