More with Less: Evaluating the Impact of Altered Purchasing Strategies and Community Outreach on the Nutritional Content of Food Provisions Distributed by the Community Food Pantry of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown
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AuthorAlbert, Jonathan S.
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AbstractThe Community Food Pantry of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown provides food provisions to community members facing food insecurity in southern Westchester, NY. A desire to increase the nutritional value of the provisions provided to the patrons of the food pantry was expressed by pantry board members and by patrons via a previously conducted needs assessment. Additionally, increasing demands for food relief related to the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for the food pantry to adopt economically sustainable practices. An intervention study was conducted in two-phases to assess whether the nutritional value of the provisions offered to the pantry provisions could be improved while maintaining or minimizing associated costs. Phase-1 was characterized by proposing 4-tiers of changes to purchasing strategies the food pantry could implement to improve the nutritional value of the provisions purchased monthly while maintaining or minimizing associated costs. Phase-2 of the intervention was characterized by publishing an informational pamphlet to the food pantryâ€™s website to improve the nutritional value of the foods donated to the pantry by community members and organizations. All 4-tiers of interventions presented in phase-1 succeeded in supporting the proposed hypothesis by demonstrating the ability to increase overall nutritional value of the purchase orders while maintaining or minimizing associated costs. Phase-2 of the intervention revealed mixed results by showing improvement in nutritional value for some nutrient categories while displaying unfavorable results in other categories. Overall, the results of this intervention study reveal that changes made to purchasing strategies for emergency food relief organizations can result in improved nutritional value of the provisions while maintaining or minimizing costs. Additional research is warranted to study the impact that improvement in the nutritional values of provisions offered to food pantry provisions has on the health and nutritional risk of individuals that utilize these services.
CitationAlbert JS. More With Less: Evaluating the Feasibility and Impact of Altered Purchasing Strategies and Community Outreach on the Nutritional Content of Food Provisions Distributed by Food Pantries. May 2022. Project for Completion of MS in Nutrition & Dietetics. SUNY Oneonta.
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