CSUEB is using food insecurity research to help students obtain basic needs

By Mary Katreeb, STAFF WRITER
California State University, East Bay students who wish they had more money for food may be able to get paid for some research studies.
Faculty members Dr. Ryan Gamba, Dr. Negin Toosi, and Professor Lana Wood are overseeing a research project on food insecurity focused on college students. The project encompasses three studies, including surveys and interviews.
The first survey looks at perceptions of food insecurity as well as its impact on mental and physical health. The second survey seeks to identify college students’ preferences in receiving food assistance such as CalFresh (formerly known as the California Food Stamp Program). Finally, they are interviewing students to learn about their experiences with food insecurity and obtaining food assistance.
This research project is being funded through AB74 (California Assembly Bill 74), which calls for CSUs to develop basic needs partnerships to help their students. The findings from the research will shed light on students’ relationships with food and its impact on their mental and physical health.
CSUEB students are invited to contribute their lived experiences to the research and receive Target gift cards in exchange for their participation.
Students who are interested can participate in the first survey to receive a $10 gift card. The second survey and the interview study each offer a $25 gift card if the student is eligible to participate. Students can also view the research flyer to learn more.

Wood, a faculty member in CSUEB’s Information Studies Department said this research is important because “revised CalFresh eligibility criteria has clarified that any student who is work-study eligible or has a $0 Estimated Family Contribution on their FAFSA are eligible for CalFresh. We estimate that about 10,000 Cal State East Bay students now qualify, but only a small fraction participate in CalFresh. Hopefully, these studies will connect students with consistent food assistance.”