The acceptability and feasibility of an on-campus food pantry to address student food insecurity

Document
Description

Although past literature has examined the prevalence of campus food pantries, most have not examined student satisfaction of campus food pantries the acceptability and feasibility of the campus food pantries

Although past literature has examined the prevalence of campus food pantries, most have not examined student satisfaction of campus food pantries the acceptability and feasibility of the campus food pantries in the U.S. This descriptive and quasi-experimental study assessed the acceptability and feasibility of campus food pantry intervention on two campuses (Downtown Phoenix and Tempe) at Arizona State University (ASU). The acceptability measures were composed of 30 survey questions including demographics, satisfaction survey, and food insecurity questionnaires, which were abstracted from the U.S. Adult 10-Item Food Security Survey Module. The food pantry was open once a week at each site. Any ASU students who enrolled in Spring 2017 and visited a food pantry were eligible to participate in the study. A total of 39 ASU students participated in the study during January 2017 and February 2017 (48.1 % female, 42.3 % White). The number of surveys collected at each site was 52. The majority of students were first-year undergraduate students (57.9% Downtown Phoenix, 45.5% Tempe). Based on their answers to the U.S. Adult 10-Item Food Security Survey Module, 21.2% of students (n=11) indicated low food security, while 48.1% of students (n=25) indicated very low food security. Almost 70% of pantry users reported that they have experienced food insecurity. In this study, the majority (90%) of students were satisfied with the service, hours of operation, and location for both the Downtown and Tempe food pantries. Additionally, 85.7% of students reported that they need additional resources such as financial aid (49%), a career center (18.4%), health services (10.2%), and other services (8.2%). The Pitchfork Pantry operated by student, university, and community support. Total donations received between Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 were 4,600 food items. The study found that most students were highly satisfied with the campus food pantries and it was feasible to operate two pantries on the ASU campus. These findings can be used to contribute to future research into campus food pantries, which may be the solution for food insecurity intervention among college populations.