Author Information

Amy Anderson


The purpose of this project was to determine if there are viable nutritional options available to the patrons of suburban food pantries located in Norton, Easton and Bridgewater, Massachusetts. The goal was to establish the existing practices of the pantries, how the food received is utilized, the needs of the patrons, and how corporate establishments work in conjunction with the food pantries. Providing nutritional options in a down economy is a difficult task if there is not a strong system currently in place or if the facility is unable to store and distribute fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy to the patrons. Mixed-methods data was collected through surveys, observations, interviews, and evaluations of each pantry’s operating system. Upon examining these areas, it has become clear that there are viable nutritional options available, but only if the pantries are willing and able to work with the corporate and local establishments. According to the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB), 47% of people in eastern Massachusetts have food insecurity, and there has been a 23% increase in the requests for assistance. Public awareness, volunteers, and new procedures within the existing food pantries are essential if pantries are to restructure toward healthier options for a service that is at risk.

Note on the Author

Amy Anderson is a junior with a double major in Elementary Education and Sociology. This research began in May of 2011 as part of the Adrian Tinsley Program Summer Grant under the direction of Dr. Patricia Fanning. Amy presented this research at the 2012 National Conference on Undergraduate Research.

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