Graduation Date

5-2020

Document Type

Senior Thesis

Degree

Bachelor of Science

Primary Major

Global Public Health

Program Director

Patti Culross, MPH, MD

Thesis Advisor

Michaela George, MPH, PhD

Abstract

Food insecurity among college students has become an issue among many universities nationwide. Campus food pantries emerged to combat this problem by providing students with a diverse selection of fresh foods. Most universities are in the pilot process of their food pantries and not many studies have been done to examine the use of healthy ingredients among students. This study included 23 eligible participants who filled out pre- and post-intervention surveys as well as visited the pantry at least once during the intervention stage. The intervention was recipe posters based on the number of ingredients included, difficulty, total preparation and cooking time and placed at the pantry. A McNemar’s test was used to determine significant differences between the pre-test and post-test. There was no significant difference in the proportions of confidence in pre- and post-intervention for ability to create healthy meals (p=1.000), knowledge of key nutrients (p=0.754), and meeting USDA Daily Recommendations (p=1.000). Of the 23 participants, 39.1% of participants increased in confidence in terms of ability to create healthy meals and knowledge of key nutrients and 13.0% of participants increased in confidence regarding meeting USDA Daily Recommendations. The intervention was not impactful enough to show any significant differences in confidence and knowledge of the participants to improve eating habits. However, some participants found improvements in their confidence in their ability to adopt healthier eating habits. More research is needed to evaluate these findings with adjustments to the study design and population.

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