Cases of food and housing insecurities in the US

Insecurities regarding food and housing have become more prevalent lately in the US. The experiences, though, vary depending on the group of individuals. While many adults are impacted, youth, particularly those attending colleges, are better off because of student loans, parental support, and sponsorships. In comparison to other demographic groups, educational organizations also provide housing and food at lower costs for their students. But one of the most pressing socioeconomic issues continues to be the quagmire of shelter and food insecurity. Evidently, women are more susceptible to these issues than men, with a vulnerability rate of about 65% compared to 31% for men. The remaining percentage is for the bisexual individuals. Such results call for support across to elevate the menace. Affirmatively, a majority of students in the universities suffer from these two problems. Thus, it is essential that stakeholders should find a way of helping them.

Keywords: food, insecurity, housing, money


The American Housing Survey placed the number of households experiencing food insecurity at an alarming 10.5 million in 2016 (Sulllivan, 2016). About housing, the number of homeless people is growing on a daily basis. In addition to that, Hunger and Food Insecurity, an article by National Coalition for the Homeless published in November 2011, indicates that an estimated fifty million Americans sleep without food. These numbers are steady and continue to rise (Hunger and Food Insecurity, 2011). In an interview with The Guardian in January 2017, sociologist Matthew Desmond reiterated the magnitude of housing insecurity in the US. He reckoned it as a problem that needs to be addressed quickly. In fact, through his book, evicted, he performed an in-depth analysis the housing challenge (Desmond, 2017). Moreover, the whole of Americans currently faces with acute housing problems. Many people cannot afford housing- this is practically true for all counties and states, attributed to high cost of available housing and a definite lack of money (Capps, 2015). The above literature points out to the nagging problem of housing and food security faced by most Americans. The researcher intends to perform more study by identifying the prevalence, causes and possible solutions of this menace. The difference in this analysis is that researchers have used various variables to affirm the claim. The hypothesis is that the issue of money is tantamount as regard to food and housing security. As the research will show, many people experiencing these problems lack cash in proportion to the increasing costs of these commodities.



The study targeted university students, whereby a group of 309 students aged between 24 and 48 was used. The research was conducted during meal times in the cafeteria, as well as student hostels and places of residence. The youth were the primary research target. The researchers sought to enhance gender balance by approaching all students without bias.


The study used both survey and questionnaires. Given the wide population covered, they were the most efficient techniques. Additionally, it was necessitated by the need to collect accurate descriptive data from the population. Questionnaires were directly disseminated to students. Short, simple questions were used. Notably, it would take a student between 5 to 7 minutes to respond to all questions provided. The completed questionnaires were later collected for analysis.


Before dividing into the topic of research questions, the respondents were asked preliminary prompts such as their gender and age to distinguish responses from different ages and gender. Subsequently, inquiries about the affordability of food, balanced diet and skipping of meals due to lack money were made. Regarding housing security, respondents were asked whether they: experienced housing insecurity during the previous semester, knew of anyone else having housing problems and their estimation and SDSU students facing housing problems. Other questions included whether their friends experienced food insecurity at school and estimates of those affected.

Respondents were asked to answer as either Often true or sometimes true or never true to questions such as whether or not they bought less food due to lack of money; they failed to have a balanced diet because they could not afford it and whether they skipped some meals or rationed them because of inadequate money. In this scenario, there were three scales: Two scales; Yes and No, were used in establishing whether the respondents experienced housing insecurity in the last semester or they knew other students who experienced the same problem. Similar measures were used in determining whether the respondents experienced food insecurity in the last semester and also knew of somebody else who went through the same case.

Other scales used include Very ineffective, Ineffective, Very effective and I don't know. These were used in measuring the effectiveness of the university management response to housing and food insecurity. Moreover, respondents were asked the level of education, from freshmen, graduates to non-students. Also, there were open-ended questions that invited views and estimations from the respondents. The researchers sought to acquire as much information as possible from the detailed and descriptive survey.

Data analysis

The researcher utilized STATA software in analyzing the collected data after keying the entries into the application, which in turn calculated all required variables; mean, standard deviation and percentages therein. Through this analysis, the researcher was able to find the relationship between cost and affordability of both food and housing. Prevalence was an interesting issue with the researcher seeking to find out the weight of the measures employed. All responses were electronically analyzed, thereby providing accurate results.


65.37% of the population was female, whereas 31.14% were male. There were 0.009709% of bisexual respondents, as well as another un-clarified gender. The respondents' average age was 23.3 with a standard deviation of 4.895. 147 respondents never chose true when asked whether they bought little food, which could not last due to financial constraints, 31 often true and 121 sometimes true. 10 respondents abstained.

About having a balanced diet, the researcher found that a substantial number, 122 were not affected. Another significant group of 130 respondents had varying experiences. Sometimes, they would be affected by the failure to afford a balanced diet. 49 often went through this quagmire. Most learners did not experience problems with reducing consumption and skipping meals. Quite another large group had to miss some meals and ration those they had to make ends meet once in a while. Only a few would often go without some meals or reduce their consumption. A majority, 273, of respondents did not experience housing insecurity in the last semester, whereas 27 agreed on experiencing the quagmire. One respondent was unsure while eight abstained.

Further, the researcher sought help from the respondents to determine the numbers of students who had housing problems. 51.11% denied knowing others having housing problems, while 44.66% agreed. The mean percentage of students experiencing housing insecurity was projected at 25.241, while its standard deviation was 15.1845. Most students, at 68.93% did not experience food problems in the previous semester, while 28.48% did. About 56.96% knew of their colleagues having food insecurity. Another 39.48% was unaware of their peers who experienced food insecurity problems. Also, it is important to note that there were cases where some respondents abstained. The mean percentage of students with food insecurity was estimated at 32.0498 and the standard deviation at 18.1659.

In a bid to understand the corrective measures were undertaken and their effectiveness, the researcher asked about the effectiveness of the school economic programs in alleviating food insecurity. A mere 12.94% thought it was useful. Majority of the students had limited knowledge about the program's impact. The effectiveness of food pantry program was at 33.33% while the majority did not know. Most of the students were above average in the previous semester. The researcher believes that this intelligence informed much of their responses.


The findings of this research reaffirm the significance of housing and food security. Although the majority of these students are not faced with hunger and homelessness, it is important to consider the minority being affected. There is an urgent need for stakeholders to come up with measures that ensure affordable housing and food. The results are a worrying trend for the country. If at all they are anything to go by, they indicate a problem that must be addressed. Money is the primary medium of exchange; plays a vital role in this. The items should be set at affordable prices. The researcher discovered respondent preferences for affordable housing and food. Additionally, policy issues such as economic and food pantry should be made public so that people may understand and benefit from them. The research discovered that most students do not even know what those programs set by the university mean for them

Limitations of the study

The researcher experienced some challenges during this exercise. Several respondents failed to answer some questions, which limited accuracy. Furthermore, it was a great challenge in reaching the most representative of the population. Most students were scattered across the campus, implying that those involved in the study had to use more time to reach them. The researchers also faced financial constraint in traveling, as well disseminating questionnaires to the respondents.


Hunger and Food Insecurity. (2011). Retrieved December 13, 2017, from

Capps, K. (2015). Every Single County in America Is Facing an Affordable Housing Crisis. Retrieved December 13, 2017, from

Desmond, M. (2017, February 12). America's housing crisis: 'A problem we need to hate more.' (U. Kenny, Interviewer)

Sulllivan, B. (2016, November 17). Renters More Likely to Be Food Insecure Than Homeowners. Retrieved December 13, 2017, from

Deadline is approaching?

Wait no more. Let us write you an essay from scratch

Receive Paper In 3 Hours
Calculate the Price
275 words
First order 15%
Total Price:
$38.07 $38.07
Calculating ellipsis
Hire an expert
This discount is valid only for orders of new customer and with the total more than 25$
This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Find Out the Cost of Your Paper

Get Price