Office of the

Our educational mission is based on the fundamental assumption that students come to class ready to learn. Food insecurity among our students puts that mission at risk.

A 2019 survey of students at UMKC showed that 32% of undergraduates and 19% of graduate students experienced food insecurity, a common finding at colleges and universities in the United States.    

In response to the food insecurity survey results, Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal formed a Food Security Taskforce in January 2020 to address the issue of food insecurity within our community, with participants representing varying units and disciplines as well as community members. Through the work of the taskforce, UMKC has identified and acted on key recommendations to combat food insecurity. 

After the taskforce had completed its work, the Chancellor established a Food Security Advisory Committee in September 2020 to implement some of the recommendations and continue the university’s response to food security. As a university, we are committed to both a culture of care and to maximizing student success.

UMKC students participated in the Hope Center’s #RealCollege survey in Fall 2020. The results showed that 51% of students experienced at least one form of basic needs insecurity and 29% experienced food insecurity within the prior 30 days of taking the survey.  These levels of basic needs insecurity are consistent with other four-year institutions in the US, and show the importance of continuing the efforts to address basic needs insecurities at UMKC.

Read the #RealCollege Survey (PDF)

Kangaroo Pantry

The food pantry is an on-campus resource that provides assistance to UMKC community members lacking access to regular meals and nutrition. With three locations at the Volker and Health Sciences campuses, we are providing more food options to students.

Fall 2019 Fall 2020 Change
Total Visits 164 358 118.3%
Total Weight Distributed 3518.1 6820 93.9%

In addition, we achieved these goals during the 2020-2021 AY:

  • Acquired a new refrigerator and freezer which has allowed expanded offerings of produce, dairy, eggs and bread
  • Redesigned the pantry to create a grocery-store experience, including baskets and inline pickup system
  • Added a computer station at main Kangaroo Pantry so students could sign up for SNAP assistance
  • Created new student advisory board for Kangaroo Pantry
  • Obtained a dedicated transportation/vehicle equipped to transport prepared foods as well as shelf stable foods for pantry
  • Created partnerships with Whole Foods and Hiland Dairy
  • Tested a possible expansion of hours

Visit the Kangaroo Pantry website to learn about the Pantry.

Basic Needs 

To support our students, the university created the Office of Basic Needs, housed within the Office of Student Involvement. The Center provides resource with food, housing and finances.

The university hired Taylor Blackmon as the first Basic Needs Coordinator. This is a newly established position that exists to encompass all basic needs at UMKC.

Visit the Basic Needs website for more information. Please contact our Basic Needs Coordinator by email at or set up an appointment here:

Basic Needs Appointment

Percentage of UMKC students who have experienced some level of food insecurity