Food Pantry Program Evaluation: What Barriers Do Students Face To Access On-Campus Food Pantries?




Silva, Francilia Brito

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The purpose of this study was to explore barriers TWU Denton students face utilizing the on-campus food pantries (OCFP). This cross-sectional, survey-based study was conducted in Fall 2021. TWU students use of OCFP and barriers to utilization, including qualitative questions, were evaluated using descriptive statistics and thematic analyses. Students (n=529) completed the survey. Despite a high prevalence of food insecurity (49.2%), most students Virtual Presentations 39 reported never using the OCFP (89.8%), and almost half of students were unaware that these pantries existed on campus (47.8%). More than one in four students believed that there were barriers to accessing OCFP and listed time tissues, lack of transportation, limited food pantry hours of operation, and social stigma as major barriers. TWU OCFP can use these findings to address the major barriers, for example by offering after-hours access through the libraries or campus police, partnering with DCTA on transportation, and normalizing accessing food assistance.