OREM — Utah Valley University is offering emergency scholarships for students facing food insecurity or struggling to meet housing expenses.
The announcement came after school officials said a new study reported that 10% of UVU’s student body has gone without food for a day or longer.
The study was done in the spring of 2018 and nearly 1,000 students participated. Other results showed that 51% of students experienced hunger and 17% would go without food for days.
“Sadness in a lot of ways because we have so many students facing food insecurities,” said UVU Dean of Students Alexis Palmer. “I think we were surprised, but understanding what our students are facing right now, not a surprise.”
UVU does have a food pantry that any student or faculty members can use, but officials decided to go much further. The new emergency scholarship fund will allow qualifying students in need of food and housing expenses to receive between $50 and $500.
“It’s about having nutritious food,” Palmer said. “If your basic needs are not met how are you going to be able to be successful in the classroom? At UVU we want students to complete their students we want them to graduate and go on to be successful.”
According to a 2019 national study that involved 86,000 students from 123 colleges across the country, 45% of students were going without food and 56% were having trouble paying their housing expenses, while 17% were homeless in the previous year.