NUTRITIONAL QUALITY OF FOODS AT A CLIENT-CHOICE FOOD PANTRY IN DALLAS, TEXAS: TRENDS IN SELECTION AND INVENTORY, OPERATIONS RELATED DETERMINANTS, AND CLIENT PERSPECTIVES

CHRISTINA A. THI, UTHealth School of Public Health

Abstract

The overarching aim of this dissertation is to examine the trends in nutritional quality of food selected and in inventory at a food pantry, to identify operations-related determinants of the nutritional quality of food inventory at a food pantry, and to examine client perspectives related to selecting healthy foods at a food pantry in Dallas, Texas. The study will result in three manuscripts. In the first manuscript, the nutritional quality of client food selections in a food pantry will be described and stratified by demographic factors; in addition, the relation of these food selections to participants’ health status will be determined. In the second manuscript, possible reasons for significant changes in the nutritional quality of food inventory will be explored and trends and changes in the nutritional quality of the food inventory will be described. For the third manuscript, food pantry clients’ perceptions of healthy food, factors that affect food selection, and possible practices that could assist clients in choosing healthier foods at the food bank will be assessed. Specific aims and hypotheses for each manuscript are below. Data for this dissertation included administrative food, demographic, and health data collected from clients of Crossroads Community Services (‘Crossroads’) in Dallas County, TX from 2011 to 2018, key informant interviews from leaders of Crossroads and the North Texas Food Bank in January 2018 and July 2018 and transcripts from focus groups conducted with Crossroads clients in January to April 2018.