A new study out of the University of Saskatchewan says rising tuition rates are leading to food insecurity issues for students.

The newly published study by the Saskatchewan Population Health and Evaluation Research Unit entitled the Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition took a random sample of 4,500 students from the university.  Of those 4,500 student 1,359 responded.

Among those surveyed about 40 percent reported some degree of food insecurity, 11 percent reported marginal, 21 percent reported moderate and 7 percent reported severe food insecurity.

Out of the students reporting food insecurity, 64 percent were Indigenous and 53 percent were parents.

“A food drive isn’t the solution to help end food insecurity for students pursuing post-secondary education,” said lead researcher Dr. Rachel Engler-Stringer in a media release. “We must take a look at the largest expenses for students, such as housing and tuition. It’s time for universities, and governments, to address issues that are causing food insecurity.”

Engler-Stinger says food insecurity is indicative of a larger issue that students are facing. The study says students who experienced food insecurity had other aspects of their lives affected including, mental and physical health, academic standing, and social lives.

The study also says 30 percent of food insecure students dropped a course within the last year.

According to the SPHERU, this study was one of the most rigorous studies on food insecurity in Canada.

(PHOTO: courtesy usask.ca.)