Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition, Aging and Chronic Disease, Obesity
The objective of this study was to assess the interest and feasibility of implementing guidelines for food donation at food pantries in Greater Cincinnati.
Methods : A cross-sectional study was conducted using an electronic survey. The survey invitation was sent to 55 food pantries in Greater Cincinnati; 31 food pantry coordinators completed the survey (56.4% response rate). The survey was conducted using REDCap
Results : Of the 31 food pantries, 61.2% were choice food pantries. None of the pantries had policies related to nutritional content or guidelines for food donations; however, 22.6% of pantries encouraged clients to select items in the pantry that align with MyPlate. Sixty percent of pantry coordinators perceived their clients to be interested in having access to items that align with MyPlate. Most food pantry coordinators (75%) expressed interest in using the provided example food donation flyer. Feedback on the visual appearance and content of the flyer was positive. Several pantry coordinators suggested including non-food items and the ability to customize a template flyer based on pantry-specific needs. Almost half of the coordinators expressed interest in training on the implementation of guidelines for using the donation flyer as well as tracking inventory of donations. Major barriers to implementing donation guidelines included lack of resources to implement a pantry-wide initiative to request healthful foods from donors (23.3%) and to track donation volume (33.3%). An additional barrier was limited space to organize inventory in a way that healthful foods would be highlighted to clients (20.0%).
Findings suggested that most food pantry coordinators in the study were interested in using a donation flyer that requests healthful foods from donors. However, several barriers, which varied across pantries, exist to implementing food donation guidelines and tracking donation inventory.
Funding Sources :
College of Allied Health Sciences, University of Cincinnati