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Client Preferences for Nutrition Interventions in Food Pantries

Cooksey-Stowers, Kristen, Martin, Katie S., Schwartz, Marlene
Journal of hunger & environmental nutrition 2019 v.14 no.1-2 pp. 18-34
ethnic differences, food choices, food pantries, grocery stores, healthy diet, meat, nutritional intervention, nutritive value, psychological stress
A racial and ethnically diverse sample of clients (N = 230) visiting four food pantries were surveyed about: (a) their level of support for interventions designed to promote healthy food choices in pantries; (b) why they select specific items in pantries, and (c) how shopping at the food pantry fits into their monthly food acquisitions. While there was fairly high overall support for strategies to promote nutrition in pantries, Black clients were significantly more supportive of nutrition interventions than clients belonging to other ethnic and racial groups. Study participants from all ethnic and racial subgroups rated nutrition as the most important factor when selecting pantry items, and stated that they worry most about running out of meat, dairy, and produce. Clients reported that they visit pantries as often as they go to the grocery store, and more frequently than they go to dollar stores, supercenters, and convenience stores. These findings suggest that food pantry clients care deeply about the nutritional quality of the food options in pantries and are supportive of strategies to help them make healthier choices