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Presentation: 4:51

Poster attached as supplemental file below


Reliable access to nutritious food is fundamental for the health of individuals and populations. Individuals across the country, however, experience food insecurity. Food insecurity is the lack of reliable access to enough food. Nutrition insecurity is a lack of nutritious foods to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. Food insecurity among college students ranges from 20% to more than 50%, which is higher than the national average of 12.3%. Universities have several means to assist with the growing number of students facing food insecurity, such as emergency funds and food pantries. On-campus food pantries are relatively new, so there is a lack of information regarding their effectiveness.

The goal of this capstone was to determine the prevalence of food and nutrition insecurity among graduate students at Thomas Jefferson University’s Center City Campus, the effectiveness of the RAMily Market, which is the first food pantry implemented in January of 2021, and attitudes about the pantry via an online survey.

Food insecurity affected 39% of the students and nutrition insecurity affected 46.2% of students. Among the students that used the RAMily Market, most students increased their access to healthy foods, all students eat healthier, and most students don’t run out of food by the end of the month. For the attitudes, there are mixed feelings about stigma and comfort with pantry use.

Access to food is an overlooked issue among graduate students. There is a large portion of the student body that lack food security, especially nutritious foods. The problem is larger than schools, so there needs to be action to decrease food insecurity among vulnerable populations.

Sarah Modlin Poster.pdf (1413 kB)