Supporting Culturally Responsive Food Initiatives with Tarrant Area Food Bank

dc.contributor.authorChung, Alexandra
dc.description.abstract"Introduction: Nearly 13% of the U.S. population experienced food insecurity (FI) in 2022. Food banks and food pantries are one way to mitigate food insecurity, but they may only sometimes meet the needs of guests from diverse cultural backgrounds. This occupational therapy doctoral capstone project investigated what food banks are currently doing to promote cultural sensitivity in services and implemented a cultural awareness policy within Tarrant Area Food Bank (TAFB). Methods: This project employed a unique approach, combining a comprehensive literature review with surveys conducted at TAFB. The literature review provided insights into how food banks address cultural sensitivity and their impact on populations. The surveys, on the other hand, aimed to expand TAFB’s cultural foods lists into a Food & Culture Guide specifically for Hispanic, Latino, and Asian cultures. Results: Food banks promote cultural sensitivity by providing culturally tailored nutrition education and culture-specific foods, restructuring leadership, and forming innovative partnerships with community members and food providers. Survey results revealed protein and produce to be the most requested culture-specific food items. Discussion: The findings from this project suggest several best practices that food banks can adopt to promote cultural sensitivity. These include building social capital, involving populations of interest in program design, and using cultural relevancy frameworks to create or modify educational materials. The survey results underscore the importance of culturally relevant food in maintaining and promoting healthy food occupations for individuals experiencing food insecurity from diverse cultural backgrounds. This project models how occupational therapy concepts can be applied in non-traditional practice settings, offering solutions to address food insecurity. Furthermore, it sets an example of the role of future occupational therapy practitioners in a non-traditional setting by holistically addressing social determinants of health with a client-centered lens and applying evidence-based practice."
dc.description.sponsorshipTarrant Area Food Bank
dc.subjectCultural sensitivity
dc.subjectCulture-specific foods
dc.subjectFood banks
dc.subjectFood insecurity
dc.subjectOccupational therapy
dc.subjectRole expansion
dc.titleSupporting Culturally Responsive Food Initiatives with Tarrant Area Food Bank
dc.typeDoctoral Project


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