Annotated Bibliography

Selected sources:

Alviola, P., Nayga, R., Thomsen, M., Wang, Z. (2013). Determinants of Food Deserts. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 95 (5), 1259–1265.  doi: 10.1093/ajae/aat029

Food deserts are normally defined as urban areas. For the people who live in that area, often of low-income, they do not have access to an affordable and healthy diet. This lack of access is due to not having a grocery store or supermarket located in the area. Alviola, Mayga, and Wang discuss low-income rural areas in comparison to urban areas. This study will tell whether they face the same insecurities in lacking access to food. The rural and urban areas of Arkansas were analyzed for the study by using a census list of food establishments along with the socioeconomics of the average income and employments rates of those in the community. Part of the study needs to define what a grocery store entails. Local food markets would only count if they had a fresh produce department. Many local food markets don’t have fresh produce. The same requirements can be applied to the convenience store and local restaurants, excluding fast-food chains. The results of this test concluded urban areas as more likely to be labeled as “food desert”. Low income rural areas statistically have less food. People live in high-risk. Urban areas do have more access to food and this food is not considered nutritious. -Hannah Jenkins


American Planning Association. (2012). Planning for Food Access and Community-Based Food Systems: A National Scan and Evaluation of Local Comprehensive and Sustainability Plans. Chicago, Washington DC: Hodgson, Kimberley.

The World Health Organization and the United Nations both deem access to safe and nutritious food as a basic human right despite the lack of access to residents in low-income neighborhoods. New research has examined food access with more in-depth criteria regarding certain people in communities. Researchers are looking at how the network of food distribution processes and its connection to  environments. They argue that food accessibility is not just a personal health issue but affects an entire community. “For this reason, access to healthy, affordable and culturally appropriate food is a key component not only in a healthy, sustainable local food system, but also in a healthy, sustainable community.” Ultimately the responsibility of creating easy food accessibility falls on the local government. Municipal and county planning departments prepare a variety of plans to address these challenges. It is hard for some people to see the efforts that are being made in these plans. The “APA’s Planning and Community Health Research Center” conducted a multi phase research study to identify and evaluate its development.” The mock report is divided up into four parts and explained in-depth. “This study demonstrates that while individual municipalities and counties have made much progress in integrating food issues into both traditional and emerging planning frameworks, there is still a long way to go before food access is considered equally important as access to shelter, transportation, housing and jobs.” -Allison Fitzgerald


Bartfeld, J. (2003). Single Mothers, Emergency Food Assistance, and Food Stamps in the Welfare Reform Era. Journal Of Consumer Affairs, 37(2), 283-304.

Barfield’s article is trying to find characteristics, circumstances, and factors that link the use of food stamps to single-motherhood food pantry clients. The article claims to find factors that predict current food stamps in single parents. Evidence shows that most mothers using food stamps are with weaker employment income. The legislature of 1999 makes changes affecting the diverse group of low income families in a particular focus on single parenthood. With policy changes, there has been more concern about the economic hardships affecting the single parent households relating to hunger and food security. It has shown an increase in food pantry demands and one’s that come from small scale studies in narrowly defined geographical areas. A good example is heavily populated cities. During the US Conference of Mayors, it was noticed that an increase of 92% of major cities reported a rise in emergency food assistance. Furthermore, the article states the order to find more information regarding the decline in caseloads across the country. This decline is linked to the likelihood of food stamp recipients being single mothers. It is noted that households have reported 28-32%, among applicants, being single parents. It is expected that single mothers are reporting to have a low income wage of only $1000 per month. This low income wage has put them in a risk category. It is a crisis and the results have shown the incline for mothers to receive food stamps, since they don’t make enough money to sustain the family’s income compared to a two parent household. -Karla Valdez


Bauer, K., Maclehose, R., Loth, K., Fisher, J., Larson, N., & Neumark-Sztainer, D. (2015). Eating- and Weight-Related Parenting of Adolescents in the Context of Food Insecurity. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115 (9), 1408-1416.

Bauer hypothesized that parents play a very important part in influencing healthy choices in foods for kids. However, when in the household with food insecurity, children eat more in unhealthy ways and often lead to poor eating habits such as obesity. Mothers with food insecurity try to stretch resources when feeding their family and try to keep their children away from hunger. Little do they know, this will overfeed their child with sweets and snack foods. The idea that children in low food security household gives validity to the data emphasized in the document. The BMI of both girls and boys is about 5 points higher than the children who have food security. On the other hand, those with low food security (LFS) and very low food security (VLFS) tend to do more things and encourage healthy eating in children. The securities include encouragement to diet and encouragement with healthy eating. Other things that parents might comment on about their child’s health is their weight or the remissible actions that concern how their eating lifestyle affects them. These efforts can be better and properly managed if the families with low or very low food security have access to the healthier choices. The cheap options decimate their outlook.-Joseph Freidin


Clarke, P., Evans, S. H., & Hovy, E. H. (2011). Indigenous Message Tailoring Increases Consumption of Fresh Vegetables by Clients of Community Pantries. Health Communication, 26(6), 571-582. doi:10.1080/10410236.2011.558337

The use of computer software Quick! Help for Meals is a study tested in indigenous messaging and tailors to the increase of food pantry users and the preparation and consumption of fresh vegetables and meals. From scratch, the study has done multiple food pantries and clients success. It has allowed them to ask questions about preferences, cooking habits, and other tips and information from clients. Within minutes of answering on Quick!, help software can create an individualized-color booklet with recipes and food-use tips. The strategy used by Quick! produces these booklets that have many benefits for health communication. Several studies have shown that message tailoring is the superior way in promoting  these certain behaviors that concern disease prevention and management. In this case, the goal is to have food pantry clients consume more vegetables and cook more healthy meals. Quick! has the option to offer 195 recipes, 111 food tips for 10 different vegetables that include carrots, broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, cauliflower, zucchini, onions, etc. With a combination of root vegetables, the actual number of recipes clients receive are much less. The type of recipes can be very customizable with such ideas as 30 minute or less meals. Meals with Hispanic and Asian flavors,  the tips have become very customizable. From the client’s wants in their interview before receiving a booklet, the results have shown that the participants increased their amount of meals when they ate the included fresh vegetables. This result is from the guidance of booklets and the food made available by participating food pantries. Amber Kerrigan


Companion, M. (2010). Constriction in the Variety of Urban Food Pantry Donations by Private Individuals.  Journal of Urban Affairs, 32(5), 633-646.

Food donations need to center on quality instead of quantity. They need to provide proper nutrition for food insecure communities. Food insecurity is not only a lack of food in general, but it expands to a lack of nutritious diet as well. Urban communities are facing negative health impacts from decreasing amounts of nutritious food. The lack of donation to food pantries in food deserts also shows the steady drop of food income. Because food pantries are the primary source of food for many poor urban populations, pantries have needed to focus on the quality aspect of donations. Most donations consist of higher quantities of added sugars and fats and limited in meats, fruits, and vegetables. The reason for fatty sugary foods has provided “dietary energy” at a much lower cost than heartier, healthier food. The past recession has caused people to reduce money expenses, and purchase cheaper foods in higher quantities. Purchasing cheaper foods in higher quantities is able to stretch the budget while helping in their community. Food pantries received less foods than the past years. Some larger pantries have taken money as a form of donation and have seen less income. People are finding ways to cut losses at cost and any possible way. A way they do this is by food and donations. People can still feel they are helping and reaching out to their communities by donating a large quantity of fatty foods. We need to stop focusing on the quantity. Instead, we should be focusing on  the quality when we donate for charity. Studies have recorded that average food donations across the United States  provide a list of most common foods that are donated. The most common types of foods donated are high in added fats and sugars. – Emily Field


Corrigan, M. P.  (2011).  Growing What You Eat: Developing Community Gardens in Baltimore, Maryland.  Applied Geography, 31(4), 1232-241.

This study focused on the specific community garden in the Broadway East neighborhood of Baltimore, the Duncan Street Miracle Garden (DSMG). It was established in 1988 by a local men’s organization, the Pharaoh Club. The original intention was to beautify and clean the area. The study began by describing the link between food insecurity and obesity in the Global North, opposed to in the Global South, where food insecurity is a result of protein energy malnutrition. The changing definition of food insecurity made it hard to pinpoint the factors that exacerbated it. This misperception led to the unequal distribution of quality foods which created food deserts in urban, poorer communities, often populated by disadvantaged minorities. The inability to access healthy, nutrient rich foods, from the lack of options in neighborhoods, and the isolation caused by lack of affordable transportation to better grocery stores led to the spike of obesity and related health problems (physical and mental) in the food insecure population. The study surveyed the food options in the area surrounding the DSMG. It compared prices and the ease of access with various food commodities. The cheaper and closer options were the sugary calorie rich foods stocked by pharmacies and corner stores. These option were easier to get to (especially by older residents) than the grocery stores with more variety and better selection. The gardeners of the DSMG were interviewed about their experiences with the shops around the neighborhood, as well as their experience with their plot. Although the affordability and superiority of garden grown vegetables and fruits are discussed, the interviewees talked about the psychological, emotional, and societal benefits of the garden, as well as the amount of produce that was leftover. With that they had leftover, they could donate to those in need within their own neighborhood. The study also aimed to discuss some of the initial issues in starting an urban garden. The most common struggle was community involvement. –Lauren Nichols


Cummins, S., Flint, E., Matthews, S. (2014).  Neighborhood Grocery Store Increased Awareness Of Food Access But Did Not Alter Dietary Habits Or Obesity. Health Affairs, 33(2), 283-291.

The main claim of the article is national and local policies which create to improve the diet in the low-income portion of the United States. This claim also includes the increasing physical access to grocery stores and supermarkets in the food desert neighborhoods. In a study that analyzed the impact of opening a new grocery store in a food deserted community, Philadelphia data showed a new supermarket had only slightly improved the population’s perception of food accessibility. It didn’t make a difference with the amount of fruits and vegetables purchased. The data collected had shown that the change of the community’s food options did not always change the purchasing of certain foods. Educating the population about new foods would be needed to reshape the perception. -Desmond Smallwood


Danziger, S., Grieger, L. (2011). Who Receives Food Stamps During Adulthood? Analyzing Repeatable Events With Incomplete Event Histories.  Demography, 48 (4), 1601-1614.

The article, “Who Receives Food Stamps During Adulthood? Analyzing Repeatable Events With Incomplete Event Histories,” gathers and comprehends statistical evidence behind individuals who need government assistance. This article generates sample populations. The sample populations include the individual’s gender, race, and age. It focuses on the probability of factors that generate a future generation to benefit from government assistance (food stamps). The samples go over the history of food stamps and the factors that have followed the trend for future users. Within the article, it includes the statistical graphs that support the data presented in the reading. It is very important for our research project to not address the issue of disproportion of government assistance but to understand the impact that it would have to the system.  – Sheyla Guerra  

Deller, S., Canto, A., & Brown, L. (2015). Rural poverty, health and food access. Regional Science Policy & Practice, 7 (2), 61-74. doi:10.1111/rsp3.12056

This article explained and showed a lot of different things about health, food access, poverty, grocery stores, etc. Furthermore explaining how the studies had linked towards showing   poverty and food access, they had made a poorer food choice which had contained a low nutritional value. Food deserts were a result of poverty. If one was inside a poor part of some community, they wouldn’t have an empty space around this specific part of town.  People really don’t care about what happens inside their community. If you are someone whom is limited to access to a grocery store, it is a easy/high access to a fast food place. This spike increases the sense of people in poverty and eating things that have a low nutritional value. In context, Deller goes in depth about different things, and even uses graphs to state how we put all of these problems into certain categories. Deller even goes into physical activity and social capital. The article is heavily based on numbers, graphs, and charts to help ensure the reader his intentions. It draws conclusions about the higher the level of poverty, and equals out the higher risk for poor health. Nonetheless, there’s a location that’s more likely to have food deserts. These things are bound to happen. Everything is a chain reaction. One thing leads to another and so on and so forth. Everything is connected. The more in poverty one is,  the community is, the more likely food deserts become a result in having to go somewhere close by. In conclusion, this could be equivalent to purchased items that are low in nutritional value. -Aurelis Feliciano


Food Trust, The & Policy Link.  (2010).  The Grocery Gap: Who Has Access to Healthy Food and Why It Matters. Philadelphia PA: Treuhaft, S. & Karpyn, A.

The Food Trust is a nonprofit organization that works to ensure that all people have access to affordable and nutritious food. It discusses policy solutions that will help low-income communities of color gain access to the healthy foods they deserve. After reviewing 132 studies, The Food Trust and PolicyLink were able to come to the conclusion that many low-income communities of color, along with sporadically populated rural areas, do not have very many opportunities to buy healthy food. Due to the decreased access, these people need healthy and nutritious food. Meaning, they are more likely to suffer from diet-related diseases than people who live in the higher income areas. Individuals who are denied access to healthy food options are individuals who will experience diseases like obesity and diabetes. Because of their high-risk issue, researchers and policy makers are becoming more aware and active to try to solve this problem. The research in this report seeks to help the hundreds of low-income Americans across the country whom rely on fast food restaurants as their main source of nutrition. Ultimately, The Food Trust wants to present this data to confirm that the United States must answer to the affected communities that have been deprived access to healthy foods. It strives to provide information to help policymakers, advocates, philanthropists, and others, eliminate food deserts from communities across the country.       – Lilia Souri


Foster, G. D., Karpyn, A., Wojtanowski, A. C., Davis, E., Weiss, S., Brensinger, C., & Glanz, K. (2014). Placement and promotion strategies to increase sales of healthier products in supermarkets in low-income, ethnically diverse neighborhoods: a randomized controlled trial. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 99(6), 1359-1368.

Authors Gary D. Foster, Allison Karpyn, Alexis C. Wojtanowoski, Erica Davis, Stehanie Weiss, Colleen Brensinger, Ann Tierny, Wensheng Guo, Jeffery Brown, Carly Spross, Donna Leuchten, Patrick J Burns, and Karen Glanz wrote  “Placement and promotion strategies to increase sales of healthier products in supermarkets in low-income, ethnically diverse neighborhoods: a randomized controlled trial” as an article to discuss the objectives and records of results from a recent study that concluded tactical placement strategies considerably augment the purchase of healthier items.  The article was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It is organized into clear and concise sections that include extensive data, charts, and references. The study focuses on supermarkets in low income neighborhoods. There is sizable research showing poor health and obesity trends with lower income citizens. In some cases, individual food habits are to blame. Other times, lacking access to supermarkets plays a part in its trend. This article, however, looks at neighborhoods with supermarkets, and tests a solution to the nutritional gap. The theory utilizes the structure of marketing the “4 P’s”: price, promotion, product, and placement. Frozen meal in-aisle beverages, cereal, and check-out cooler beverages are items used in the study to measure the effectiveness of a marketing plan. Foster et al concludes that the deliberate marketing tactics could benefit healthier items to be more widely purchased. -Nia White


Freeman, A. (2007). “Fast Food: Oppression through Poor Nutrition.” California Law Review, 95(6), 2221-2260.

The main focus of this article is how low-income families in the United States have turned to fast food as their primary source of nutrition. Opposed to this issue, a problem of “personal choice” by low-income people, the issue is a result of fast food’s overwhelming popularity, targeting marketing, infiltration in schools, government subsidies, and federal policy. All of these factors contribute to an overarching problem with inner-city people of color face lacking sufficient access to healthy food.  Studies indicate African Americans and Latino communities are becoming more susceptible to food related deaths and disease due to a significant increase in the amount of fast food restaurants, opposed to the healthier food options. The article also discusses how race and class-based health emergencies form “food oppression.” Freeman argues that although popular culture have attempted to make efforts in pointing out growing issues, the media is slacking in their job to delivering the message to communities who are suffering from food options. She also informs readers that the government continues to support and fund the fast food industry. The issue of food oppression is going to progress. The only way to effectively fight this problem is by taking action and fighting to changes laws, policy, and education. – Lilia Souri


Garasky, S., Morton, L. W., & Greder, K. (2004). The Food Environment and Food Insecurity: Perceptions of Rural, Suburban, and Urban Food Pantry Clients in Iowa. Family Economics & Nutrition Review, 16(2), 41-48.

Food pantries must use different strategies to feed their rural, suburban, and urban clients due to many uncontrollable factors within their clients’ communities. These factors range from their clients mental perceptions of themselves to the physical food channels in the communities around them. The conclusions in this article were pulled from evidence gathered from rural, suburban, and urban food pantry users in Iowa.  It discusses many factors that create differences between these three major areas of food pantry such as age, grocery store access, food costs, food variety, and people per household. It states that urban pantry users feel “less safe” at local grocery stores and around the community. This could explain why their is a need for greater outreach in Richmond’s urban community. It furthermore talks about how rural areas have greater food insecurities due to a lack of transportation systems. This is interesting due to Richmond’s less than adequate public transportation. This could highlight another reason why local food pantry users struggle. When comparing these two factors together it could explain why few individuals show for food pantry learning programs or educational classes. The main point here is that these findings can help food pantries better understand and quickly adapt to their clients. If local pantries can effectively use the information to understand why Richmond food pantry users are different, then they can better understand how to serve them. —- Michael Newman


Grieger, L., & Danziger, S.  (2011).  Who Receives Food Stamps During Adulthood? Analyzing Repeatable Events With Incomplete Event Histories.  Demography, 48(4), 1601-1614.

The purpose of this article is gathering and understand statistical evidence behind individuals that use government assistance. This article generates sample populations that include individual’s gender, race, and age. It focuses on the probability of what factors will generate a future generation to benefit from government assistance (food stamps). It also goes over the history of food stamps and the factors that have followed the trend of future users. With in the article it includes statistical graphs that support the data presented within the reading. This is very important for our research project not to just address the issue of disproportion of government assistance but to understand the impact this could have to the system.  – Sheyla Guerra  


Hoisington, A., Shultz, J. A., & Butkus, S. (2002). Coping Strategies and Nutrition Education Needs Among Food Pantry Users. Journal Of Nutrition Education & Behavior, 34(6), 326-333.

The main focus of this article is understanding what makes families food insecure. How can they access food? How can they survive off limited resources? Emergency food users and limited-food households are studying primarily through their personal relationships with food assistance programs and realizing how to make food more accessible and better educate the public on nutrition. The study has found that most food insecure individuals can’t have way of coping with their problems. In most cases, individuals try to act like they don’t need help, but eventually they needed emergency food services. The study has also found a major barrier to the acquisition of food as money, because many lower-priced foods can’t be purchased with food stamps. This helps identify key foods like fresh produce and meats that are higher priced and unaffordable. Food pantry users can get more support in those areas. Within the study, individuals talk about sectioning off major portions of food stamps week by week to afford salad ingredients. Within this article, there are key points that help identify and pursue specific out of reach foods for food pantry users. It identifies the major emotional problems of food pantry users, like coping without food, which is commonly unseen, but is still detrimental.


Kaur, J., Lamb, M., & Ogden, C. (2015). The Association between Food Insecurity and Obesity in Children—The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115 (5), 751-758.

Kaur starts his journal by stating that 10.6% of households were food insecure in the United States in 2009. 4.2 million households had had a reduced quality of food. This was possibly contributed to the 16.9% of children who were obese. Studies had shown that the possible connections had been between the two statistics. This Journal has studied 9,701 children from the ages of 2 to 11 years of age. From the sample size, 15.2% of the children were obese. Most of these children were older than younger. Mexican-American children had shown to be more food insecure, whereas non-Hispanic whites had been less assured. However, the data in the charts has shown that the children, who are more food insecure, are more likely to be obese. Both boys and girls are shown with nearly identical numbers across the boards. Oddly enough, there is no connection between the children from the ages of 2 to 5, but there is a connection with the children from the ages of 6 to 11.-Joseph Freidin

Nackers, Lisa M., & Appelhans, Bradley M. (2013). Food Insecurity Is Linked to a Food Environment Promoting Obesity in Households With Children. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 45(6), 780-784.

Pomeranz, J., & Chriqui, J. (2015). “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 49(3), 428-436.

“The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program”, a journal article written by Jennifer L. Pomeranz and Jamie F. Chriqui, recognizes that the current Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program supports an unhealthy lifestyle, it then lists and confirms a solution for the current problem. This scholarly article was published in The American Journal of Preventative Medicine. The authors heavily cited references and previous research on the topic in the article to support their claim. Pomeranz and Chriqui report that The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, was originally intended to facilitate and allow food insecure individuals the proper means to live a nutritious and informed lifestyle. The program was modeled after a post Great Depression plan that collected benefits from agricultural surplus. The new model, renamed SNAP, does not contain nutrition standards making the program equivalent less of a nutrition assistance model, and more like direct cash. Because SNAP participants have an almost unmonitored control when purchasing food, their diet quality is poor an unhealthful. To amend this problem, the authors pose enacting the same nutrition standards that stand for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The United States Department of Agriculture, who oversees both the SNAP and WIC programs refused to implement these changes because of the alleged administrative difficulties it poses. However, the article demonstrates the same practice currently in place for the WIC program and for state taxes. This proved the authors’ solution to be successful and feasible in an effort to promote better health in SNAP participants. -Nia White


Pudney, E., Brasseur, K., Ozier, A., Yao, P., & Mcbride, R. (2014). Assessment of Nutrition Education Needs Pertaining to the Perceived Benefits and Barriers of Food Pantry Clients. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 46 (4), 5167.  

In this poster abstract, Pudney et al. provide a brief overview of some statistics surrounding benefits and barriers to eating healthy food, as they are perceived by food bank clients in northern Illinois. Clients responded that the main benefits to eating better were to feel better, so their children and/or grandchildren would learn to eat better, and to prevent disease; clients responded to the survey that the main barriers were cost, difficulty to feed picky eaters, and confusion as to what food is healthy. This brief study will be useful to predict programs that clients would want, and assist in better tailoring food pantry programs to meet the needs of clients. –Lea McMahon


Rambeloson, Z., Darmon, N., & Ferguson, E. (2008). Linear programming can help identify practical solutions to improve the nutritional quality of food aid. Public Health Nutrition, 11(4), 395-404.

In this article, the nutritious quality of food deliveries to food banks in France is evaluated. Through a method called linear programming (LP), the nutrients from food can be calculated and seen where improvements and changes need to be made, as far as what foods to procure for the food banks. Participants can get the daily value of certain nutrients they need according to the French Nutrition and Health National Programme. In France, the food aid system is complex and somewhat inefficient in getting people the kinds of nutrients they need. Aid in France recieves primarily through the French Food Bank (FB) network and the European Union (EU). With linear programming “a nutritionally optimal combination of food is mathematically selected via a linear optimization function.” Through this LP, different types of nutrients are looked at such as proteins, saturated fats, carbohydrates, and vitamins such as A, D, C and compared with the French recommended dietary allowances. It is then calculated to see if increases or decreases in amounts from EU donations only, FB and EU donations, or FB, EU, and new foods will be able to give the adequate amount of nutrients for food bank users. The results show that with increases in EU donated food, it will be impossible to get nutritionally adequate donations. Even with increases in both EU and FB donations, it still isn’t feasible. But using LP and adding new foods to the EU and FB donations, a workable model is created to get people the nutrients they need. -Amber Kerrigan

Robertson, R., & United States. General Accounting Office. (2001). Food stamp program program integrity and participation challenges. Washington, D.C.]: U.S. General Accounting Office.

The Food Stamp Program over the years has had a decrease in participation. This book presents the public with information on two fundamental challenges:

1) ensuring the integrity of the program

2) minimizing program barriers that deny individuals from participating in the program

First, it goes into the background of food stamp programs and breaks down the individual factors and further explanations. The program has made extremely complex rules to determine the eligibility and benefits. The only way to reduce errors is simplifying the program. Stronger economy and tighter eligibility requirements reduce the number of people eligible for food stamps. By observing the data provided, the lack of participation and restricted access to its program, we see the growing gap between need and assistance. Robertson’s book provides a table, on comparison, on the numbers of children receiving food stamps and the numbers of children living in poverty between 1989 and 1999. Overall, the main issue needing to be addressed is the participation in the program.-Sara Schmetterling


Seligman, H., Lyles, C., Marshall, M., Prendergast, K., Smith, M., Headings, A., Bradshaw, G., Rosenmoss, S., Waxman, E. (2015). A Pilot Food Bank Intervention Featuring Diabetes-Appropriate Food Improved Glycemic Control Among Clients In Three States. Health Affairs, 34(11), 1956-1963.

In a first time study, food banks and their participating food pantries implemented an intervention program that specifically targeted adults with diabetes in low food secure households. The goal of this pilot intervention was to help find ways to support people with diabetes in a non-traditional and community based way. This is why they chose to do this through food pantries. They also thought about diabetes management strategies until it didn’t address the fact that people in low-income communities and households didn’t have access to diabetes-appropriate food. It is very important in managing the disease, especially food banks and pantries. Their skills in distributing food are the best place to fill in the gap. In this intervention, three food banks participated, as well as various food pantries, to serve communities. The participants in the program received  

  1. Diabetes screening and glycemic control monitoring.
  2. Diabetes appropriate food once or twice monthly.
  3. Referral of clients to primary care providers for those that didn’t have consistent care.
  4. Providing diabetes self-management support and education.

The prepackaged boxes of food participants in the program contained whole grains, lean meats, beans, low-sodium vegetables, and shelf stable dairy products. These items have also substitute perishable foods such as fresh produce, milk, cheese, yogurt, and frozen lean meat. Boxes cost the food bank an average $16 per box. The results of the intervention after 6 months were a significant improvement to HbA1c levels of participants. Not to mention, the number of participants with very poor glycemic control decreased from 28% to 25%. Satisfaction with the food boxes have been high and 60% of individuals report eating more fruits and vegetables. Family members in those households have eaten more fresh produce.-Amber Kerrigan


Tucker, M. (2013).   Launching a Food Recovery Network, BioCycle, 54 (1), 35-37.

This is a brief overview of the inception with the Food Recovery Network and how it has spread from campus to campus. The article has given specifics about the process of recovering and redistributing food. The costs and labor of the operation, as well as what supports and funds the network is providing to anyone who wishes to start their own chapter at another university. The FRN has recently (to the publication date) given the status of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The founder has discussed the recent advancements that have awarded the FRN and his vision for the future of the organization after his graduation. -Lauren Nichols


Trenkamp, B., & Wiseman, M. (2007). The Food Stamp Program and Supplemental Security Income. Social Security Bulletin, 67(4), 71-87.          

Throughout this article “Food Stamps”, it describes what they are and why food stamps are put in place. The article goes over the history about what started the program as well as the reasons behind what has changed in the programs. It focuses on the detail of food stamps (coupons exchangeable for food) and other types such as EBT, which are known as electronic allowances. It goes over, whom is eligible, as well who isn’t eligible for government assistance. The eligibilities increase as time goes on. It specifies detailed restrictions towards food stamps and simplifies the reasons towards restrictions. I believe this reading is extremely beneficial for understanding food stamps and its requirements. The article potentially brings more understanding to the restrictions behind requiring food stamps. Since the article is very defined towards understanding of whom and why individuals may be eligible for food stamps, we may understand more towards why this program is getting taken advantage of and being poorly misused. –Sheyla Guerra  


US Dept. of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.  (2008). “Food Stamps and Obesity: What Do We Know?” (Economic Information Bulletin; no. 34).  Washington DC:  Ver Ploeg, M. & Ralston, K.

“Food Stamps and Obesity” tests and repudiates the conclusion that food assistance program participants lead generally unhealthy lifestyles and are more susceptible to obesity. The article was written by Michele L. Ver Ploeg and Katherine L. Ralston in the Unites States Department of Agriculture Economic Information Bulletin. The article thoroughly explains possible unfamiliar terms and concepts and includes several charts and graphs with data supporting the argument. Ver Ploeg and Ralston observed several perspectives in this study by looking at different age and sex demographics in the tested participants. The article notes that throughout the long history of food assistance in American, the health and dietary issue has turned from too little intake to overconsumption. This problem has led to perceived higher rates of obesity in low income households. The results of the study showed that the majority of participants: children, adult men, and senior citizens were less likely to be overweight or obese due to Food Stamp Program usage. Adult women, who make up twenty eight percent of the program were affected by its use. However, researchers found that collectively, the correlation between obesity and food stamps was inadequate. The result also corroborated a previous conclusion that the influence of income groups on BMI and obesity are fading. This furthermore lends to the argument that there are other factors responsible for the obesity epidemic. -Nia White


Verpy, H., Smith, C., Reicks, M. (2003). Attitudes and Behaviors of Food Donors and Perceived Needs and Wants of Food Shelf Clients. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 35(1), 6-15.      

Emergency food assistance programs are not only for emergencies anymore. Many people rely on emergency food programs, like food banks and pantries, for consistent help; due to this growing need, a variety of food items need to be made available for food insecure people. This study has looked at five focus groups in a very ethnically diverse and urban area to show what foods are needed in food pantries and food banks to better and cater the needs of the food insecurity. Many people reported a need for more meat and seasonal fruits and vegetables. A growing trend seemed to need more quantities of various food groups such as meat, vegetables, and fruits. Most of the people involved in the focus groups stated that they would receive enough food to feed their families for one week day, but struggled during the other weekdays. Many parents reported going without food, so their children could eat. In general, a need for more variety and healthy options was present in all the focus groups in this study. After looking at the needs of the community, food donors were then compared to the food insecure to try and figure out where this miscommunication in common needs was coming from. This study showed that when it comes to donating food, donors think about what they want versus what the people are giving to need. Many people reported buying sweets and treats instead of nutritional food for children. While some people think about nutritional value over taste, the majority did not think about common nutritional needs when it came to donations. The people in the two groups were extremely different in ethnicities. The food insecure focus groups were made up of equal parts minorities, while the donors were predominantly white. The difference accounts for the lack of ethnic food donated. The variety needed for these communities is not present in the quantities needed. The common trend here seems to be that the food donors are focused on what they want and what they want to give, and not what the people receive with the food they would want or need. A bigger effort needs to be made by emergency food providers and show food donors what is needed and what is without relation to their food pantries and communities receiving their food. Donors are not educated enough in the needs of the food insecurity to provide adequate donations to emergency food providers. – Emily Field


Walker, R., Block, J., Kawachi, I. (2012). Do Residents of Food Deserts Express Different Food Buying Preferences Compared to Residents of Food Oases? International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 9, 41.  

It has been well studied and documented that people who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods and areas with a generally high fast-food density have a higher Body Mass Index (BMI). These areas often lack a supermarket or a grocery store with an extensive selection of fruits and vegetables. Therefore, the consumption of those energy-dense fast foods is much higher. During this study, Boston was used as the subject area and was explored with the question, “what do people in disadvantaged neighborhoods really want to eat?” When provided with fresh fruits and vegetables, study participants from low income areas expressed a lack of desire to consume them. This was primarily because they had not been used to consuming fresh fruits and vegetables. There was no place for them in their diet. Food preferences and habits are important because they dictate buying and consumption. When buying practices between food deserts and food oases were examined, there was definite discrepancies in the availability of food in those areas. In the low-income, high risk areas, transportation to and from a supermarket were very unreliable, and often the supermarkets were not available 24 hours a day. In order to get food after work, people who live in that demographic rely on fast-food chains which are open all night. In high-income areas, the grocery store is open 24 hours and transportation is usually not a problem.  -Hannah Jenkins

Weaver, C., Dwyer, J., Fulgoni III, V., King, J., Leville, G., MacDonald, R., Ordovas, J., Schnakenberg. D. (2014).  Processed foods: contributions to nutrition.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 99 (6), 1525-1542.


When you’re talking about food pantries, you have understand that any factor could be related to the outcome of things. There are things such as food deserts in the community that are the financial stable to provide for themselves.. In this article, they explain the pros and cons of process and fresh foods. They state the nutrition value, how it’s done, and the health value differences between the two. However, the article argues that processed foods over time actually develop into something good. In processed foods, they are able to put more nutrition than fresh foods. The article begins to state that if there isn’t added nutrition in processed foods, then we will be walking around with an insufficient amount of nutrition from the fresh foods. Although foods that are ‘minimally processed’ have less value when it comes to the sodium, added sugars, etc., food still has less value in nutrition.. The processed foods had a higher intake than minimally processed foods with iron, calcium, vitamin B12, and D.  The article states on how to help reduce the unhealthy factors that we all love. Even though something is good with nutrition value, it could have a high calorie intake. We should be aware of our intake. We try not to consume with an abundance. Our intake should be with moderation. We should try to balance them both, the fresh and the processed, and gain from different nutritional values. -Aurelis Feliciano

Widener, M., Farber, S., Neutens, T., Horner, M. (2014). Spatiotemporal accessibility to supermarkets using public transit: an interaction potential approach in Cincinnati, Ohio. Journal of Transport Geography 42, 72–83.

The main claim of the article is improving nutrition in urban regions which involves understanding  neighborhoods and populations in Cincinnati, Ohio. They lack access to grocery stores that sell healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables. The article discusses how efforts are being made to increase the accessibility. From mapping regions, they were able to notice the places with less accessibility and label them as food deserts. Work, such as claimed in this article, has not been done in this area until most recent. They have only considered residents and their mobility to be facilitated by transportation opting for automobile-oriented travel assumptions. Emphasized in this article, the area’s spatial-temporal constraints restrict the access to major supermarkets and focuses on the transit commuting population. From analyzing the data collected in the area, the data exemplifies a significant number of residents who have made efforts to improve their access to supermarkets on the way home from work. Rather than making the trip to the grocery store from their home location, work is percepted to be more suitable. The results collected state that relatively few automobile commuting residents have better access to supermarkets in regards to the location of their jobs than their homes. -Desmond A. Smallwood


Yao, P., Ozier, A., Brasseur, K., Robins, S., Adams, C., & Bachar, D. (2013). Food Pantry Nutrition Education about Whole Grains and Self-Efficacy. Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal, 41(4), 426-437.

This study focused on the way that nutrition education clients of food pantries perceived their own healthy eating habits pre and post a “nutrition intervention;” clients were provided with a recipe for a whole grain pasta and chicken dish, taught to make the dish in class, and then given the ingredients to make at home. The control group did not receive a nutrition intervention. The researchers found that those that received the nutrition intervention perceived their habits as healthier, compared to their own experiences pre-intervention and as compared to the control group. This study highlights the importance of nutrition education in increasing self-efficacy. –Lea McMahon


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