Publication Date

2006

Abstract

This paper explores the correlation between food choice and resources amongst individuals accessing a community food shelf that serves both small town and rural Vermont. Through interviews that utilize both short-answer and open-ended questions, the research seeks to uncover how various resources affect the food choices of people in poverty. The specific resources in question come from Dr. R.K. Payne's A Framework for Understanding Poverty. Payne posits that the presence and absence of the seven critical resources in the framework are vital to explaining underlying problems faced by impoverished persons and aiding in the identification of avenues out of poverty. This paper applies the framework within the context of food choice for the purpose of informing food programs such as community food shelves of resource factors that may be impacting the food choices and ultimately the health of their clients. Although a strong connection between resources and food choice does not emerge from the study, various trends surface from the data that are helpful for understanding how food shelf participants perceive their health, eating habits, and resources. Ultimately these trends lead to suggestions for improving nutrition among clients of a community food shelf.

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