Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors


Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Kelly Simmons

Second Advisor

Vanessa Baird

Third Advisor

Dale Miller


This paper explored the solutions of food insecurity on Colorado Campuses through qualitative research. More specifically, it analyzed what barriers to food security students faced at each college, how colleges chose to address these barriers, whether these barriers were addressed, and how colleges evaluated their solutions. While each campus experienced different barriers to food insecurity, there was a necessity to consider what has been done in order to create successful solutions. Ten institutions overall were part of this study; the five community colleges, 4 four-year institutions, and one junior college were a part of a semi-structured interview that worked to answer the questions above. I used a framework analysis to analyze the results. Of the ten universities interviewed, economic barriers were the most common. Food pantries, meal card programs, and emergency funds were the main solutions used to address these barriers. Decisions to implement these resources were made based on what students identified they wanted and what economic and political resources the school had on hand. Key takeaways from this research are that long-term economic barriers and cultural barriers still need to be addressed. Whether this is because decisions are made without directly considering the barriers that students face, is unclear. It is clear, however, that evaluation methods should be expanded and further developed.