#RealCollege: A National Convening on Food & Housing Insecurity

September 29 - September 30, 2018
Philadelphia, PA

Without sufficient food and a safe place to sleep, college students across the nation are struggling to learn. #RealCollege is the movement to do something about it. Join students, practitioners, policymakers, researchers and activists at the annual #RealCollege convening to develop strategies and take action to secure students’ basic needs.

This year’s no-frills event will focus on viable programmatic and policy solutions. Come ready to partner with colleagues in order to:

  • Create affordable housing, including for community college students
  • Prevent food insecurity with efforts that go beyond the campus food pantry
  • Shape state and federal policies to improve food and housing resources available to students
  • Address the needs of students returning to college and other older learners
  • Support student-parents, former foster youth, re-entry populations, and undocumented students
  • Integrate mental health practices with basic needs supports

Featuring interactive workshops, multimedia learning opportunities, and plenty of time to network with colleagues, #RealCollege is the place to be.

See here for more information: realcollege.org/convening

If you are interested in funding this year’s event, please email
Sara Goldrick-Rab at SGR@temple.edu.

All other inquiries can be directed to Alison Bowman at ambowman@wisc.edu.

Workshop Details

Promising Practices for Addressing Food Insecurity in Higher Education

Led by Clare Cady, Co-Founder and Director of the College and University Food Bank Alliance
10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Fox-Gittis Room at the Liacouras Center
1776 N. Broad Street

Join practitioners, innovators, and organizational leaders in an interactive workshop focused on alleviating student food insecurity. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about promising practices and success strategies on the growth edge of this work in higher education. From campus pantries to food vouchers, SNAP enrollment to food recovery, this workshop offers real-time examples of programs operating on college campuses across the country. Participants will learn, engage, and teach together in a community of practice to end student hunger.

Shelters, Showers, and Scholarships: Solving Housing Insecurity in Higher Education

Led by Barby Moro, Southern Scholarship Foundation
10:30 am – 4:30 pm
Welcome Center at the TECH Center, Ground Floor
12th Street at Montgomery Avenue

While a panacea for student housing insecurity may be elusive, a wide array of passionate individuals are creating new and innovative solutions across the country. In this workshop, policymakers, nonprofits, and higher education institutions will discuss how they tackle the issue. From state law to house sharing, short-term shelters to rent-free housing for the duration of earning a degree, participants with interact with change-makers sharing practical advice to bring back to communities around the country.

Crisis, Intersectionality, and Mobilizing Transformation: A Case Study on the University of California System’s Approach to Basic Needs Insecurity

Led by Ruben E. Canedo and Tim Galarneau, University of California System Basic Needs Committee
10:30 am – 3:00 pm
Tuttleman Learning Center Conference Room 300AB
1809 N. 13th Street

Join us to engage in dialogue and learning around strategies to mobilize institutional transformation. This workshop will use the work done in the University of California’s system to address basic needs insecurities among students as a case study to highlight success strategies in action. We will share the latest data from the UC system, including the UC System Student Experience Surveys, as well as its preventative model, dyad exercises, areas of focused community learning, and sharing of materials. Participants—including students and faculty—will walk away from this session with tools and inspirations that will help them to engage in transformative change on their campuses or in their state systems. Trigger Warnings: corrections spending, defense spending, economy, government spending, harassment, homelessness, hunger, intersectional oppressions, malnourishment, mental health, poverty, prison industrial complex.

Leveraging Non-traditional Financial Aid Programs to Address Food & Housing Insecurity

Led by Rebecca Schreiber-Reis, Dickinson College and Andy Howe, Independent Consultant
10:30 am – 5:00 pm
Shusterman Hall
1834 Liacouras Walk

This workshop will focus on capacity-building and sustainability of non-traditional financial aid programs, e.g., emergency grants, completion grants, public benefits and tax credits, as well as helping students meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. Participants will apply a planning model of effective collaboration, assessment, and evaluation to a financial aid program of their choosing. A panel of experts, leaders, and practitioners will discuss how they use aspects of this model to build capacity and sustain their programs. The panelists will also assist participants with developing their own aid or success program.

Addressing Postsecondary Student Basic Needs Insecurity: Existing Policies and Future Opportunities for Change

Led by Amy Ellen Duke-Benfeld, Center for Law and Social Policy and Katherine Sydor, U.S. Office of Management and Budget
10:30 am – 4:30 pm
Kiva Auditorium, Ritter Annex Room 106
1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue

In this workshop participants will hear from experts about state and federal policies to address student basic needs that can help support postsecondary student success. Participants will learn about the nuances of relevant state and federal public benefits and postsecondary policies that can help address food and housing insecurity. Practitioners and advocates will describe their own experiences shaping and implementing policies that can support students, highlighting where they encountered success and failure and providing examples of model policies others can work to bring to their own context. Participants in the session will engage in an interactive workshop, walking away with a list of potential opportunities and practical solutions to supporting students, while also helping to surface areas that are ripe for additional analysis and future action.

A National Research Conference on Basic Needs Insecurity in Higher Education

Led by Sara Goldrick-Rab, Founder of the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, Professor at Temple University
10:30 am – 5:30 pm
President's Room at the Diamond Club, Lower Level Mitten Hall
1913 N. Broad Street

This multi-disciplinary mini-conference for researchers studying food and housing insecurity in higher education is sponsored by the American Educational Research Association. Participants will: (1) Advance scholarship into the prevalence and impacts of undergraduate food and housing insecurity and interventions designed to address it; (2) Spur new thinking on the implications of housing and food insecurity in higher education for the meaning of college, the role of colleges in society, and the concept of college affordability; and (3) Connect researchers to others in the field to galvanize new research and data collection. A series of panels will instigate in-depth discussions on issues such as measurement, the estimation of causal impacts, lessons from qualitative research, and program evaluation. This mini-conference is open to researchers of all levels, including graduate students, both inside and outside of the academy. Pre-reading will be required.

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