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“They Do a Wonderful Job of Surviving”: Supportive Communication Exchanges Between Volunteers and Users of a Choice Food Pantry
- Jones, Christina L., Ksobiech, Kate, Maclin, Katie
- Journal of hunger & environmental nutrition 2019 v.14 no.1-2 pp. 204-224
- food pantries, food security, information exchange, social support
- In a qualitative study examining supportive communication, 34 users of a choice food pantry and 20 volunteers who guide users through the pantry shopping experience provided information about the nature and meaning of supportive communication exchanged during their normal pantry interactions. The study revealed that 4 types of social support link volunteer–client communication: (a) emotional (expressions of trust, intimacy, and caring); (b) appraisal (expressions of affirmation and positive self-evaluation); (c) instrumental (practical assistance); and (d) informational (useful information and advice). The findings have important implications for creating supportive environments within choice pantries. Specifically, the role of both informational and appraisal support deserves more attention when considering the growing marginally food insecure population.