Author: Butkus, 2 Butkus, Krysta. Food Pantry Participants¢â‚¬â„¢ Perceptions of how Transportation and

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    Author: Butkus, Krysta

    Title: Food Pantry Participants’ Perceptions of how Transportation and

    Pantry use Influences Food Purchases.

    The accompanying research report is submitted to the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Graduate School in

    partial completion of the requirements for the

    Graduate Degree/ Major: MS Food and Nutritional Science

    Research Adviser: Carol Seaborn, Ph.D., R.D., C.D, C.F.C.S.

    Submission Term/Year: Spring, 2012

    Number of Pages: 103

    Style Manual Used: American Psychological Association, 6 th edition

    I understand that this research report must be officially approved by the Graduate School and

    that an electronic copy of the approved version will be made available through the University

    Library website

    I attest that the research report is my original work (that any copyrightable materials have been

    used with the permission of the original authors), and as such, it is automatically protected by the

    laws, rules, and regulations of the U.S. Copyright Office.

    My research adviser has approved the content and quality of this paper.

    STUDENT: Krysta Butkus

    NAME__________________________ DATE: ________________

    ADVISER: Carol Seaborn

    NAME __________________________ DATE: ________________

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----

    This section for MS Plan A Thesis or EdS Thesis/Field Project papers only

    Committee members (other than your adviser who is listed in the section above)

    1. CMTE MEMBER’S NAME: Kat Lui_______________ DATE: _____________

    2. CMTE MEMBER’S NAME: Kerry Peterson_________ DATE: _____________

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ----

    This section to be completed by the Graduate School

    This final research report has been approved by the Graduate School.

    Director, Office of Graduate Studies: DATE:

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    Butkus, Krysta. Food Pantry Participants’ Perceptions of how Transportation and

    Pantry use Influences Food Purchases.

    Abstract

    Food pantries alleviate hunger by providing eligible individuals with food, but food-

    impoverished individuals are at increased risk of not having reliable transportation. The

    objectives of this study were to determine how food pantry use influences grocery

    purchases, if reliable and accessible transportation and associated costs influence grocery

    purchases, and to determine the diet quality of pantry participants. Sixty food pantry

    clients from Dunn County, Wisconsin were recruited to participate in the study. Eligible

    participants met the criteria of having martial status as single, or married with children

    under the age of 18 living in the home, or senior citizens over the age of 60. Participants

    had incomes less than 185% poverty level. The data collection methods included a survey

    and focus groups.

    Results indicated that respondents were not consuming the recommended number

    of servings per day for fruits, grains, and vegetables. Thematic analysis of focus groups

    indicated many transportation and social barriers to accessing food, such as time

    constraints with caring for children, poor weather conditions, and high food costs. Coping

    methods to manage transportation issues and obtain affordable food or making foods

    more affordable, included walking to stores, traveling with others, or strategizing

    shopping trips by buying food in bulk or lower quality food. Conclusions drawn from this

    study indicated that transportation constraints and nutrition knowledge barriers were

    limitations for food pantry participants to meet their dietary needs.

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    Acknowledgments

    I would like to acknowledge the guidance, support, and motivation I have

    received from my graduate education. The encouragement, and advice I have received

    from my research advisors, Carol Seaborn, Kat Lui and Kerry Peterson, have taken my

    educational experience and personal growth to a new dimension. I also would like to

    thank Lana Anderson, and the staff and volunteers of Stepping Stones Food Pantry for

    the opportunity to complete my thesis at your facility. The support and guidance I

    received while completing my thesis project made this research possible. Finally, I would

    like to thank the University of Wisconsin-Stout Student Research Grant Fund for

    providing funds to make this research possible.

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    Table of Contents

    ........................................................................................................................................ Page

    Abstract ................................................................................................................................2

    List of Tables .......................................................................................................................7

    Chapter I: Introduction ........................................................................................................8

    Statement of the Problem .......................................................................................12

    Purpose of the Study ..............................................................................................13

    Research Questions ................................................................................................13

    Assumptions of the Study ......................................................................................13

    Definition of Terms................................................................................................14

    Limitations of the Research ...................................................................................16

    Chapter II: Literature Review ............................................................................................17

    Demographics of Food Pantry Participants ...........................................................17

    Trends in Food Pantry Participation ......................................................................19

    Challenges for Food Pantries .................................................................................20

    Economic Hardships ..............................................................................................21

    Food Preferences Among Food Pantry Participants ..............................................25

    Perceptions of Food Access and Security among Food Pantry Clients .................27

    Profile of the Foods Provided by Food Pantries ....................................................30

    Stepping Stones Food Pantry .................................................................................33

    Summary ................................................................................................................34

    Chapter III: Methodology ..................................................................................................35

    Subject Selection and Description .........................................................................35

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    Instrumentation ......................................................................................................38

    Data Collection Procedures ....................................................................................39

    Data Analysis .........................................................................................................40

    Limitations .............................................................................................................41

    Summary ................................................................................................................42

    Chapter IV: Results ............................................................................................................43

    Respondents’ Demographics from Survey ............................................................44

    Food Pantry Influences on Pantry Participants’ Grocery Purchases .....................45

    Estimation of Pantry Participants’ Dietary Intakes ................................................48

    Transportation Access and Grocery Store Purchases ............................................54

    Figure 1: Frequency of choosing not to go grocery shopping because of costs as

    reported by participants..........................................................................................55

    Transportation Distance to Grocery Stores ............................................................58

    Focus Group Results ..............................................................................................58

    Barriers to Accessing and Preparing Fresh Produce ..............................................59

    Transportation Barriers to Acquiring Affordable Food .........................................63

    Coping Methods for Transportation Barriers .........................................................66

    Coping Methods for Accessing Affordable Fo