It is estimated that one out of five students nationwide are food insecure or hungry on campus. 

Below is a list of resources if you require assistance.

The Gard Student Assistance Fund helps to ensure that Concordia University Chicago’s traditional undergraduate students have access to resources when unexpected financial challenges arise.  Assistance funds are intended for full-time, traditional undergraduate students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses because of temporary hardship related to an unexpected emergency situation. Students may apply for assistance funds when they are experiencing a financial barrier or obstacle, and have exhausted all other resources.

Students who are interested in applying for assistance funds should complete the application form. Applications will be reviewed on a regular basis in an effort to respond to requests in a timely fashion. Only one application per individual will be approved with a maximum assistance grant of up to $300. Funds are limited, but are currently being raised.

Complete the application form

Learn More

Government Assistance Programs

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-SNAP: SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. To determine if you are eligible to receive SNAP benefits, visit the SNAP program website.
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families-TANF: TANF is run by the Illinois Department of Human Services. This program is for families with children and pregnant women who need temporary cash assistance. Those receiving TANF also receive medical assistance and most TANF families also receive SNAP benefits to buy food. To learn more about TANF and if you might qualify, visit the Illinois Department of Human Services website.
  • Housing Choice Voucher Program Section 8: The housing choice voucher program is the federal government's major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled. It is designed to help those in need afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing in the private market. To learn more, read the Housing and Urban Development factsheet.

Local Food and Housing Assistance

  • Beyond Hunger: As part of its mission to reduce local hunger, the Beyond Hunger provides nutritious groceries, produce, meat, and dairy products to local families and individuals. This organization serves residents of 12 zip codes including portions of the city of Chicago and most of the suburbs surrounding Oak Park. All clients must meet income guidelines and are limited to service once per month. Photo ID and proof of residency within their service boundaries are required.
  • Housing Forward: Housing Forward is a nonprofit social service agency in west Cook Country which uses a comprehensive “housing + service” solution to help individuals and families transition from housing crisis to stability. 
  • Greater Chicago Food Depository: The Greater Chicago Food Depository is Chicago’s food bank. They provide food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in the communities the serve.
  • Food Banks/Pantries: Find a local food bank or food pantry in your area.

Research on Food and Housing Insecurity

  • Feeding America: Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization—a powerful and efficient network of 200 food banks across the country. 
  • Map the Meal Gap: View an interactive map to learn more about food insecurity nationwide.
  • College and University Food Bank Alliance-CUFBA: CUFBA is a professional organization consisting of campus-based programs focused on alleviating food insecurity, hunger and poverty among college and university students in the United States.
  • Assessing Food Insecurity on Campus: Assessing Food Insecurity on Campus reports to be the first to produce nationally representative numbers of the population of postsecondary students who are food insecure. The authors find that the percentage of food insecure students in vocational education and four-year schools were similar to nationwide levels while students in two-year schools were significantly higher (1 in 5).
  • Hunger on Campus: Hunger on Campus is a 2016 study on student food insecurity in partnership with Student Government Resource Center, National Student Coalition Against Hunger and Homelessness, and Student Public Interest Research Groups.
  • Wisconsin HOPE Lab: This is the largest national survey assessing the basic needs security of university students. It is the HOPE Lab’s 3rd national survey; the other two focused on community colleges. This year they reported on 43,000 students at 66 institutions in 20 states and the District of Columbia. That includes over 20,000 students at 35 4-year colleges and universities, as well as students at community colleges.