The Second #RealCollege

A national convening on college food and housing insecurity
October 23 and 24, 2017
Temple University in Philadelphia

Without sufficient food and a good night’s rest, undergraduates across the nation are struggling to learn. This national crisis demands action, and #RealCollege is a meeting of the leaders who accept that challenge and are working to transform higher education to meet the needs of every student.

The first #RealCollege convening took place in May 2016 in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Led by the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, more than 150 policymakers, practitioners, advocates, faculty, students, and researchers working to secure undergraduates’ basic needs came together for the two-day event and together achieved the following goals:

  1. We created bridges between action-oriented programs to help coordinate their work and learn each other’s successes and failures.
  2. We connected policymakers to service providers and researchers whose experiences and knowledge can point the way toward an effective policy agenda.
  3. We identified current areas of knowledge and gaps in research.
  4. We connected researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to galvanize new data collection and research in this field.

The second #RealCollege will build on that success.

Join us to learn from leaders working to reduce food and housing insecurity, ending no-cause evictions, putting homeless student liaisons on all college campuses, offering rent-free housing, broadening student access to food stamps, and ensuring that every college makes effective and just use of its food resources. We will learn about strategies for effective lobbying and how best to work with college administrators to implement changes.  In day-long workshops, we will also dig deep into key topics like how to operate effective campus food pantries or craft supportive state policies.

More information on #RealCollege and registration materials will be available by July 10.

Want to provide financial support to help make this event possible?

Email Sara Goldrick-Rab at SGR@temple.edu


#RealCollege Convening Materials

There’s an alarming trend on college campuses: an increasing number of students tell us that they are struggling in college, sometimes even dropping out, because they can’t afford a consistent roof over their heads and enough food to eat. In December our report, Hungry to Learn, revealed that of more than 4,000 students we surveyed at 10 community colleges across the country, one in five said that they were hungry and 13% were homeless.

In April 2016, over 150 practitioners, policymakers, and researchers met at Milwaukee Area Technical College for #RealCollege, a first-of-its-kind convening to learn how to effectively address undergraduate food and housing insecurity and increase college completion for low-income students.

Convening Materials

Thursday, April 28th

7:45 am – 8:30 am
Breakfast available
M605 Main Building

8:30 am – 9:00 am
Welcome and Introductions
M203 Main Building (Cooley Auditorium)
Sara Goldrick-Rab, Wisconsin HOPE Lab (PDF Presentation)
Greg Lampe, University of Wisconsin Colleges
Vicki Martin, Milwaukee Area Technical College

9:00 am – 10:00 am
Hunger and Homelessness in 21st Century America
M203 Main Building (Cooley Auditorium)
Judith Bartfeld, University of Wisconsin-Madison (PDF Presentation)
Cyekeia Lee, Nat’l Assoc. for Education of Homeless Children & Youth
(PDF Presentation)
Sherrie Tussler, Hunger Task Force
(PDF Presentation)
Chair: Anthony Hernandez, Wisconsin HOPE Lab

10:00 am – 11:00 am
Food and Housing Insecurity Among Undergraduates
M203 Main Building (Cooley Auditorium)
Sara Goldrick-Rab, Wisconsin HOPE Lab
In conversation with Wisconsin undergraduates

11:15 am – 12:30 pm
Lunch and Panel on Action: Emergency Financial Aid
M605 Main Building
Sarah Bauder, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation                                 
Despina Costopoulos, Scholarship America
Amy Kerwin, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates
Amber Michaels Schmitt, Northeastern Wisconsin Technical College
Chair: Andrew Howe, Kansas State University

12:45 pm – 2:00 pm
Keynote Address: The Federal College Affordability Agenda
Deputy Under Secretary Kim Hunter Reed, U.S. Department of Education
M203 Main Building (Cooley Auditorium)
Kim Hunter Reed, Deputy Under Secretary of Education
In conversation with Sara Goldrick-Rab, Wisconsin HOPE Lab               

2:00 pm – 3:15 pm
Action: Federal Role in Addressing Food & Housing Insecurity
M203 Main Building (Cooley Auditorium)
Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, Center for Law & Social Policy
Chase Sackett, U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development
Alan Shannon, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Katherine Sydor, U.S. Department of Education
Chair: Jed Richardson, Wisconsin HOPE Lab

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Breakout Session #1 (rooms vary)
Smaller group discussions on the following populations/issues:

  • Foster Care Youth: Marla Seay, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership
  • Veterans: Joe Rasmussen, UW-Madison Veteran Services
  • Mental Health and Disability:  Susan Warfield, U. of Minnesota
  • LGBTQ: Ryan Adserias, Wisconsin Equity & Inclusion Lab
  • DREAMers: Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Voces de la Frontera

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Hunger Task Force’s Fresh Picks Mobile Market Visit
BMO Valet Parking Lot
Outside 6th Street Entrance to MATC M Building

5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Poster Fair and Networking Reception
All participants invited to bring posters highlighting their work to share
M605 Main Building

Friday, April 29th

7:45 am – 8:30 am
Breakfast available
S Building Cafeteria

8:30 am – 9:30 am
Setting the Research and Evaluation Agenda
M203 Main Building (Cooley Auditorium)
Katharine Broton, Wisconsin HOPE Lab (PDF Presentation)
Rashida Crutchfield, Cal State-Long Beach
(PDF Presentation)
Daphne Hernandez, University of Houston
(PDF Presentation)
Chair: Vivian Louie, William T. Grant Foundation   

9:30 am – 11:00 am
Action: Addressing Undergraduate Food Insecurity
M203 Main Building (Cooley Auditorium)
Clare Cady, College & University Food Bank Alliance and Single Stop
Ruben Canedo, University of California Global Food Initiative
(PDF Presentation)
Tim Galarneau, University of California Global Food Initiative
(PDF Presentation)
Jennifer Maguire, Oh SNAP, Cal State-Humboldt
(PDF Presentation)
Maryiam Saifuddin, Houston Food Bank
(PDF Presentation)
Rachel Sumekh, Swipe Out Hunger
(PDF Presentation)
Chair: Minhtuyen Mai, Wisconsin HOPE Lab

11:15 am – 12:30pm
Lunch and Panel on Action: Addressing Undergraduate Housing Insecurity
M605 Main Building (PDF Presentation)
Robert Arca, University of San Diego
Shirley Fan-Chan, U-ACCESS at UMass Boston
Shema Hanebutte, Tacoma Community College
Nicole Hindes, Oregon State University
Louis Tse, UCLA Bruin Shelter
Chair: David Monaghan, Wisconsin HOPE Lab

12:45 pm – 2:00 pm
Breakout Session #2 (rooms vary)
Smaller group discussions on the following topics:

  • Food Pantries: Clare Cady
  • Benefits Access: Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, Nicole Hindes & Jennifer Maguire
  • Food Bank Innovations: Sherrie Tussler & Maryiam Saifuddin
  • Housing Innovations: Chase Sackett & Shema Hanebutte
  • Institutional Innovations : Ruben Canedo, Shirley Fan-Chan & Tim Galarneau (PDF Presentation)

2:15 pm – 3:15 pm
We Can and Must Do More
M203 Main Building (Cooley Auditorium)
Ajita Talwaker Menon, White House
Introduction: Phyllis King, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

3:15 pm – 4:30 pm
Looking to the Future
M203 Main Building (Cooley Auditorium)
Jee Hang Lee, Association of Community College Trustees
Tom Mortenson, Pell Institute
Wick Sloane, Bunker Hill Community College and Inside Higher Ed
Michael Sorrell, Paul Quinn College

4:30 pm – 4:45 pm                    
Closing Remarks
M203 Main Building (Cooley Auditorium)
Sara Goldrick-Rab, Wisconsin HOPE Lab

  • Ryan Adserias, Wei Lab                                        
  • Robert Arca, University of San Diego                      
  • Gwen Bankston, Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation                    
  • Kenneth Barbeau, Housing Authority of the City of Milwaukee                 
  • Judi Bartfeld, University of Wisconsin-Madison                 
  • Sarah Bauder, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation                            
  • Bonnie Bauer, Moraine Park Technical College                  
  • Jacob Bernier, Century College Resource and Support Center                    
  • Melanie Bivens, Waukesha County Technical College                     
  • Alison Bowman, Wisconsin HOPE Lab                     
  • Aaron Braverman, Single Stop - Borough of Manhattan Community College                        
  • Katharine Broton, University of Wisconsin-Madison                       
  • Gilda Brown Ebanks, Single Stop - Delgado Community College                 
  • Clare Cady, College and University Food Bank Alliance & Single Stop                       
  • Colleen Campbell, Association of Community College Trustees                  
  • Yvonne Campbell, Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation                 
  • Ruben E. Canedo, University of California                            
  • Julie Carr, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire                      
  • Priyadarshini Chaplot, National Center for Inquiry and Improvement                      
  • Ann Coles, uAspire                       
  • Despina Costopoulos, Scholarship America                         
  • David Croom, Lumina Foundation                            
  • Rashida Crutchfield, California State University, Long Beach                        
  • Monique Currie, Wisconsin Technical College System                     
  • Mimi Daly Larson, Scholarship America                  
  • Jennifer deCoste, University of Wisconsin-Platteville                     
  • Rolando DeLeon, Waukesha County Technical College                   
  • Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield, Center for Law and Social Policy                           
  • Lauren Dy, Bruin Shelter                              
  • Shirley Fan-Chan, University of Massachusetts Boston                  
  • Bertha Fountain, City University of New York-Graduate Center                 
  • Morna Foy, Wisconsin Technical College System                               
  • Laura Franklin, University of Wisconsin-Platteville                            
  • Rebecca Freer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee                        
  • Shawn Fremstad, Center for American Progress                               
  • Tim Galarneau, University of California Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems                   
  • An Garagiola Bernier, Century College Resource and Support Center                      
  • Sara Goldrick-Rab, University of Wisconsin-Madison & Wisconsin HOPE Lab                        
  • Lizzi Gorman, Anabel’s Grocery                
  • Lynn Gransee, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee                         
  • Denise Hancock, University of Wisconsin-Parkside                          
  • Shema Hanebutte, Tacoma Community College               
  • Heather Harbach, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee                   
  • Teresa Harn, Moraine Park Technical College                     
  • Jamie Hawkins, Wisconsin HOPE Lab                      
  • Anthony Hernandez, Wisconsin HOPE Lab                           
  • Daphne Hernandez, University of Houston                         
  • Norbert Hill, Oneida Nation of Wisconsin                             
  • Nicole Hindes, Oregon State University Human Services Resource Center                            
  • Andy Howe, Kansas State University                      
  • Margaret Howe, Student PIRGs               
  • Christina Hubbard, Northern Virginia Community College Adult Career Pathways                             
  • Viola J. Miller, Madison Area Technical College                  
  • Louise Janke, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse                               
  • Manthrigae Jayatilake, Northern Virginia Community College                     
  • Angela Johnson, Cuyahoga Community College                
  • Vernon Jung, Moraine Park Technical College                    
  • Amy Kerwin, Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation                           
  • Tou Ya Khang, Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation                         
  • Phyllis King, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee                               
  • Trevor Kubatzke, Milwaukee Area Technical College                      
  • Greg Lampe, University of Wisconsin Colleges                   
  • Dena Lane-Bonds, University of Missouri                             
  • Tamar Lapin, The New School                    
  • Jee Hang Lee, Association of Community College Trustees                          
  • Cyekeia Lee, National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth                     
  • Rebecca Leighton, University of Minnesota Nutritious U Pantry                
  • Vickie Lock, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College                         
  • Vivian Louie, William T. Grant Foundation                            
  • Amy Machgan, Waukesha County Technical College                       
  • Jen Maguire, Humboldt State University                              
  • Minhtuyen (Minh) Mai, Wisconsin HOPE Lab                      
  • Colleen Mandella, Waukesha County Technical College                 
  • Vicki Martin, Milwaukee Area Technical College                
  • Jessica Medina, California State University, Fresno                          
  • Vanessa Mercado, San Francisco State University                            
  • Layla Merrifield, Wisconsin Technical College District Boards Association               
  • Amber Michaels Schmitt, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College                              
  • David Monaghan, Wisconsin HOPE Lab                  
  • Tom Mortenson, Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education                               
  • Kerry Mullins, Anabel’s Grocery, Cornell University                         
  • Victoria Munn, Single Stop USA                
  • Jennifer Murray , UW-Milwaukee LGBT Resource Center                              
  • Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Voces de la Frontera                
  • Diane O’Connor , Minnesota Office of Higher Education                 
  • Stacy Oliver-Sikorski, Lake Forest College                             
  • Kathleen O’Neill, Bunker Hill Community College / Single Stop                   
  • Stephanie Parker, Waukesha County Technical College                 
  • Sarah Persily, Gerstner Family Foundation                          
  • Hans Peterson, University of Minnesota                              
  • Hannah Phillips, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse                          
  • Marlina Polk McGiveron, Wisconsin HOPE Lab                   
  • Noel Radomski, University of Wisconsin-Madison                            
  • Jason Rasmusen, Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation                   
  • Joe Rasmussen, University of Wisconsin-Madison                           
  • Kelly Ratliff, Waukesha County Technical College                             
  • Kim Hunter Reed, U.S. Department of Education              
  • Nancy Retana, University of Wisconsin-Parkside                              
  • Jed Richardson, Wisconsin HOPE Lab                      
  • Michael Rosen, Milwaukee Area Technical College                          
  • Chase Sackett, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research                               
  • Maryiam Saifuddin, Houston Food Bank                               
  • Jean Salzer, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Career Planning and Resource Center                  
  • Imesh Samarakoon, Bruin Shelter                           
  • Marla Seay, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Child Welfare Partnership                          
  • Alan Shannon, USDA Food and Nutrition Service Midwest                           
  • Adam Shelepak, Anabel’s Grocery                          
  • Noreen Siddiqui, University of Wisconsin-Madison                          
  • Kirstin Siemering, American Heart Association                   
  • Wick Sloane, Bunker Hill Community College                      
  • Jillian Solomon, Anabel’s Grocery                            
  • Michael Sorrell, Paul Quinn College                         
  • Kimberly Stezala, Stezala Consulting, LLC                              
  • Ariana Stillman, Hunger Task Force                         
  • Rachel Sumekh, Swipe Out Hunger                         
  • Matthew Summerill, Northern Virginia Community College                         
  • Katherine Sydor , U.S. Department of Education                
  • Wayne Taliaferro, Center for Law and Social Policy                          
  • Ajita Talwalker Menon, White House Domestic Policy Council                    
  • Rachelle Thompson, Northern Virginia Community College                         
  • Louis Tse, Bruin Shelter                
  • Edie Turnbull, College Possible                  
  • Vicki Turner, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee                             
  • Sherrie Tussler, Hunger Task Force                         
  • Willem Van Roosenbeek, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Pride Center College                 
  • Rebecca Villarreal, The Kresge Foundation                          
  • Kurt Wachholz, Milwaukee Area Technical College                          
  • Julie Waldvogel-Leitner, Moraine Park Technical College                              
  • Susan Warfield, University of Minnesota Student Parent HELP Center                   
  • Joanne Wilson, University of Wisconsin-Platteville                          



This is #RealCollege: Some Students Struggle to Pay for Food, Housing
Sara Goldrick-Rab, The Washington Post, May 10, 2016

A Successful Conference on Hunger?
Wick Sloane, Inside Higher Ed, April 29, 2016

Event Sponsors

William T. Grant Foundation         Great Lakes         MATC

Scholarship America           Association of Community College Trustees         AFT MATC Local 212

Related Readings

As colleges, community leaders, policymakers, and researchers persist in their efforts to address campus food and housing insecurity, we will update this page with new information on the extent of undergraduate material need and developing solutions to the problem. Contact us if you know of readings that don’t appear on the list.

Research on Campus Housing & Food Insecurity

News and Commentary on Campus Housing & Food Insecurity

Ways to Address Campus Food & Housing Insecurity via Policy and Practice

Resources for Students & Institutions

A growing number of college and community service providers are building food and housing resources to help struggling students complete college. We have included links to some of these resources below. If you know of additional help for students, please let us know!

Resources for Students

National Resources

Beyond Campus Food Banks (Canada)
College and University Food Bank Alliance
How Public, Means-Tested Benefits Can Help Low-Income Students.” Duke-Benfield, A. National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. (2016)
National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth higher education help line for students
Navigating College: The Resource Guide for Homeless and Low Income Students. MoneyGeek.
Single Stop
SNAP eligibility - exceptions for college students

Local resources

Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), City University of New York
Basic Food Employment and Training Program, State of Washington
Bruin Shelter, University of California – Los Angeles
College Housing Assistance Program, Tacoma Community College
DASH Emergency Grant Program (select campuses)
Dreamkeepers Emergency Financial Assistance (select campuses)
Food for Change, Houston Food Bank
Harvard Y2Y, Boston, MA
Homeless Outreach Student Transition Program (HOST), University of San Diego
Human Resources Service Center, Oregon State University
Hunger Task Force Mobile Market, Milwaukee, WI
Keep Me Maryland, University of Maryland
Oh SNAP!, Humboldt State University
U-ACCESS, University of Massachusetts Boston

Resources for Colleges and Universities

Aligning Federal Supports for College Access & Completion
Campus Kitchens Project
College and University Food Bank Alliance
Food/Fund Raising Toolkit. College & University Food Bank Alliance.
Food Recovery Network
Foster Care Transition Toolkit, U.S. Department of Education
Guide to Assessing Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education. Wisconsin HOPE Lab.
How Public, Means-Tested Benefits Can Help Low-Income Students.” Duke-Benfield, A. National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. (2016)
Increasing Access to Healthy Food, UC Global Food Initiative
Making Campuses Healthier Through Operations, UC Global Food Initiative
Running A Campus Food Pantry: Student Government Toolkit
Running a Campus Food Pantry. Student Government Resource Center and College & University Food Bank Alliance.
Single Stop
Swipe Out Hunger
Unaccompanied Youth Toolkit for Financial Aid Administrators, National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth

All inquiries can be directed to:

Alison Bowman
Associate Director
Wisconsin HOPE Lab