Sen. Chris Murphy and Rep. Jahana Hayes introduce bill to address college hunger

Hartford Courant

Sen. Chris Murphy and Rep. Jahana Hayes are sponsoring a measure that aims to address hunger among college students.

The bill would collect data on hunger and food insecurity on college campuses and provide information on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and other resources.

"No student should ever have to worry about finding the money to put the next meal on the table while in class,'' said Hayes, a former teacher. "Hungry students don't learn. Food stamps were a life saver for me and my young family – I know from my time in the classroom just how critical it is that students are aware of all of the resources available to help them succeed.''

According to the Government Accountability Office, about 30 percent of college students are "food insecure," and many who are eligible for SNAP and other benefits are not receiving them.

"Far too many students are forced to make the unfair decision on whether to eat or get an education," said Murphy, a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in the Senate.

"Our bill creates a uniform standard for the Department of Education to collect data on students who are experiencing food and housing insecurity, and connect them with the resources they're eligible for so we can tackle this crisis,'' he said. "Good nutrition is directly correlated to performance and college completion and we need to figure out how we can help students achieve both."