Date of Graduation

5-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Human Nutrition and Hospitality Innovation

Advisor

Bailey, Mechelle

Reader

Shoulders, Catherine

Second Reader

Becnel, Jennifer

Abstract

The purpose of this descriptive study was to determine the reasons why 38% of the students at the University of Arkansas experience food insecurity, yet only 1% of students have used the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Campus Food Pantry, in hopes to provide a guide to the Center for Community Engagement in their endeavors to reduce food insecurity on campus (Lisnic, 2016). An online survey was created using Qualtrics software, was submitted to and approved by the University of Arkansas Institutional Review Board, and was distributed to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Arkansas. The sample size was 349 students. The survey was composed of a combination of multiple choice and Likert scale-type questions that collected demographic data, assessed food insecurity, and asked the participants to identify barriers that would or do deter them from using the campus food pantry. All answers were recorded anonymously and frequency of responses were statistically analyzed through Qualtrics and IBM SPSS Statistical Analysis Software. The majority of food-insecure participants indicated that they have not used the food pantry because they were unaware of its existence and/or its location. The majority of food-insecure participants who have used the campus food pantry indicated that they hesitated before using the pantry because of perceived negative stigma surrounding the use of emergency food-aid resources. The majority of participants were white, female undergraduate students and indicated that they were unaware of the pantry’s existence before taking this survey. Overall, indicated barriers toward the utilization of the food pantry were unawareness of pantry existence, unawareness of pantry location, and perceived negative stigma.

Keywords

food insecurity, community, nutrition, food pantry, stigma, college hunger

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