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New GAO Report Highlights College-Student Hunger

As the costs of college have climbed, some students have gone hungry. When they’ve voiced frustration, they’ve often been ridiculed: “Ramen is cheap,” or “Just eat cereal.”

But the blight of food insecurity among college students is real, and a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), a nonpartisan congressional watchdog, highlights the breadth of those affected. There are potentially millions of students at risk of being food insecure, which means they do not have access to nutritious, affordable food, the report says. It is the first time the federal government has acknowledged food insecurity on campus in a significant way. The federal government spends billions of dollars on higher education each year, and this report finds that some students are at risk of dropping out because they cannot eat, although there aren’t good data on just how many.