Food Insecurity on Campus

A circular graphic that represents the domains of innovation highlighted in the project.

In Canada alone, 2 out of 5 post-secondary students experience some form of food insecurityFood insecurity is described as inadequate and insecure access to food as a result of financial constraints. Its prevalence within the student population is overlooked by many considering the significant implications it has on students’ livelihood, learning and overall well-being. It’s complex and interconnected with our core needs and different for each and every individual in our communities.

The Food Insecurity project began during our 2019-2020 Design Thinking Experience Program (DTEP) , and was worked on by three separate teams over the course of 2019-2020 to ensure that we were hearing from a diverse scope of students and community members to truly understand needs in food insecurity. This has allowed us to bring new perspectives and be flexible in exploring and understanding why student food insecurity exists within higher education.

Icon of book with connecting circles reaching outwards.

Integrated Learning Experience

Students engage fully in learning experiences both within and outside of the classroom.

Hand holding bubbles with a heart, light bulb and book in them.

Whole Student Development

Students receive the support they need for their holistic well-being (physical, psychological, social, and emotional).


When aligned with their basic needs, eating experiences can satisfy students' hunger and support their wellbeing, leading to their self-fulfillment. By identifying & recognizing the complexities and core elements elements of food insecurity, we can locate the short and long-term implications food insecurity has on students’ academic success, future endeavours, health and overall well-being.

Food for self-fulfillment can be understood through three themes: 

  1. Finding Food Identity
  2. Managing Balance Imperfectly
  3. Gaining Food Know-How

In the provided blog post & report below, we discuss the complexity of food insecurity, design principles and recipes for success, and more.

Theme visual for this project, which includes a pyramid-like structure with layers. Each layer represents a core need.

Research Team

Johanna Pokorny

Johanna Pokorny

Amal smiling to the camera, wearing a black and light pink outfit.

Amal Yusuf

Rosemarie Shephard

Rosemarie Shephard

Design & Communications Team

Gianina smiling to the camera infront of a dark grey background

Gianina Ramos


Cody Foo