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Understanding the preferences and needs of the people served by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank

Delahanty, Michelle (2019) Understanding the preferences and needs of the people served by the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank (GPCFB) is responsible for sourcing and distributing food to food insecure families and individuals in 11 counties across Western Pennsylvania. Demographic information is the only information systematically collected from individuals who use GPCFB services. I was hired in February 2018 to design, pilot, implement and analyze a large-scale survey to individuals at two GPCFB food distributions- food pantries and Produce to People. The survey included questions beyond demographics that would allow the Food Bank to better understand the people they serve. Questions garnered information on food preferences, nutritional needs, fruit and vegetable access, household chronic disease, and medical access. The purpose of this survey is to drive an internal Wellness Policy at GPCFB focusing on the wants and needs of the people served, and disrupting the quantity over quality approach historically taken by food banks. Results to the food and health questions will serve as justification for objectives of the prosed Wellness Policy. This survey is also the beginning of a “people first” initiative at the GPCFB. This initiative will increase the levels of community engagement at the Food Bank and involve the people they serve in future programming and decision making. The public health significance of this project is that increased community engagement results in more community choice which, in turn, leads to a stronger system interrupting the cycles of poverty and food insecurity. The Wellness Policy emphasizes the sourcing and distribution of foods that are part of a healthy diet that gives people the energy to make decisions and improves the health outcomes of individuals and families. Survey administration took place over three months during the summer of 2018, reaching 25 food pantry distributions, 5 Produce to People distributions and 757 individuals in total. Survey results provide strong evidence for a new Wellness Policy and increased people-focused decision making at the Food Bank. Methods can be replicated on a smaller scale to continuously collect information and feedback from individuals using the Food Bank’s services.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Delahanty, Michellemid70@pitt.edumid70
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBear, Toddtobst2@pitt.eduTobst2
Committee MemberElias, Thistleelias@pitt.eduElias
Committee MemberRautkis, Marymar104@pitt.eduMar104
Date: 20 June 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 April 2019
Approval Date: 20 June 2019
Submission Date: 3 April 2019
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 68
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Food insecurity, food banking, food policy
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2019 22:34
Last Modified: 01 May 2021 05:15


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