In the 2017 MIT Quality of Life Survey, between 2-8% of graduate and up to 13% of undergraduate respondents indicated that they did not have consistent access to food. The Food Insecurity Solutions Working Group (FISWG) was formed in the fall of 2017 to study this problem and to come up with potential solutions. Click here to learn more about the FISWG as well as read a report of their findings.
Some ongoing campus initiatives to reduce food insecurity include:
- Family Food Grants are available for students with families who are experiencing food insecurity
- SwipeShare is a program for students who experience food insecurity to access dining hall meal swipes; students who wish to support SwipeShare can also donate their swipes.
- TechMART is an on-campus, at-cost grocery store.
- Grocery shuttles to Costco, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods
- Graduate Student Council’s Costco Card is a shared Costco membership card that can be “checked out” by any graduate student
- MIT CASE “Class Awareness Support and Equality” is a student group that works on raising awareness of socioeconomic disparities within the MIT community
These campus initiatives are centered around making food options more convenient, accessible, and affordable. In addition to these services, education about financial literacy can go a long way in helping to reduce food insecurity. Having the skills and knowledge to budget or cook more meals at home can help students save money and eat healthier.
Some MIT graduate students have written about eating on a budget in the MIT Graduate Admissions Blog:
- Eating and Socializing on a Budget in Cambridge
Cooking dinner with friends as an alternative to overpriced, generic restaurants
- Always Where the Food’s At
A grad student’s guide to free food at MIT