Lt. Gov. Howie Morales and UNM Food Project students (Photo courtesy of Higher Education Department)
The New Mexico Higher Education Department and University of New Mexico Basic Needs Project announced on Sept. 30 a new statewide initiative to research the food and housing needs of students at public colleges and universities in New Mexico and fund those institutions.
“Too many New Mexico college students struggle with food and housing insecurity, making it harder to succeed and graduate,” Lt. Gov. Howie Morales said.
The state is granting $900,000 to UNM for on-campus food resources.
Last year, UNM performed a student survey which showed that withdrawal from multiple courses during a student’s collegiate career can be an indicator that students are struggling, with students dropping more than two classes at particular risk.
An analysis of the data from the survey showed that students who reported low or very low levels of food security were almost twice as likely to withdraw from or fail a course. The results suggest that food insecurity is associated with lower grade point averages.
According to the Higher Education Department, New Mexico is conducting the first statewide study in the country on college basic needs.