Food security among of the Denver Parish

Material Information

Food security among of the Denver Parish
Buck, C.
Jimenez, S.
Lippert, A. M.
Maestas, D.
Mauk, S.
Montague, A.
Ostrowski, M.
Patel, V.
Roach, C.
Taylor, E.
Thomas, L.
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Department of Sociology, University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Physical Description:


General Note:
May 8, 2019

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Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Food Security among Clients of the Denver Parish May 8, 2019 T he USDA estimate s that 15 million (11.8%) of U.S. households experience some level of food in security , with 5.8 million (4.5%) households experienc ing severe food in security. 1 These figures have remained relatively unchanged since the period before the Great Recession . 1 Any level of food insecurity is cause for concern, as food shortages are linked to poor health and developmental outcomes especially for youth. 2 ,3 In Denver, understanding the challenges to food security is critical. It is estimated that one in six Denver residents experience food insecurity or hunger 4 and over 45 neighborhoods in the metropolitan region are designated as food deserts by the USDA. 5 Addressing access to food is key to reduce the increasing prevalence of negative health complications associated with food insecurity. 5 Given the high prevalence of food insecurity in Denver, this report addresses three main objectives: (1) Document client satisfaction with food availability at the . (2) Assess the food security of food bank clients and their children, when present. (3) Investigate the association between mild & severe food insecurity and risk & protect ive factors including homelessness, poor healt h, and employment . Food Security in the US and Denver F ood bank clients most desired fresh produce, meats, fruit juices, and snacks Among those 65+, VeggieRx alumni were less likely than non participants to want more dessert options (14% vs 32%) Prepared for the Denver Parish by: Buck, C., Jimenez, S., Lippert, A.M., Maestas, D., Mauk , S., Montague, A., Ostrowski, M., Patel, V., Roach, C., Taylor, E., Thomas, L. Most respondents met criteria for at least one measure of food insecurity 60% reported that their households had run out of food in the past month before they had money to buy more 1 in 4 clients reported going an entire day without eating in the past month Direct correspondence to: Adam M. Lippert, PhD Department of Sociology | University of Colorado Denver


A convenience sample of 104 clients at the Denver Parish was contacted April 17 20, 2019. Participants were recruited during fo od bank operating hours to ensure representation of individuals with challenges to their food security. Incentives for participation included a $5 gift card, a food bank voucher, and canvas bag . Information collected included the following: Demographic i nformation (age, household composition, interviewer assessed gender and race) Risk and protective factors (housing status, employment, program participation, education, unmet health care needs) Past month food insecurity using items from the USDA Adult and Child Food Security Modules Physical health problems (diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, heart disease, mobility problems) Satisfaction with specific food availability at the Self assessed internal co ntrol and empowerment measured via e Surveys were administered via computer assisted personal interviews by University of Colorado Denver student interviewers using the Qualtrics survey platform. Methods Pa g e 2 Food Security Fig . 3 Risks Mild and severe food insecurity was more common among nonwhites and those with homelessness or unmet mental health treatment needs Those with food insecurity were more likely to receive financial support from friends or family Risk and Protective Factors for Food Insecurity Fig. 4 Protections Food insecurity was less common among those working some type of job for pay and among those with higher Mastery scores Mastery was also protective against child food insecurity (CFI); up to 25% of the children represented in the sample had CFI Fig. 5 Associations with Health Problems Mild & severe food insecurity was higher among those with diet related chronic illness and asthma, COPD, or other breathing problems Food bank c lients at the Parish face considerable food challenges. Of those surveyed, 62% received SNAP/food stamp s and 60% us ed the food bank twice month ly the maximum allowed. A mong SNAP beneficiaries the average amount of stamps received was $145 a month , though a quarter received less than $40 . Further, while employment was protective, fewer than 1 in 4 were working and most worked precarious jobs. Thus, j ob training and more access to public assistance programs may alleviate food insecurity among Parish clients. Summary References 1. 2. Gundersen, C. and J.P. Ziliak. 2015. "Food Insecurity and Health Outcomes." Health Affairs 34(11):1830 1839. 3. Jyoti, D.F., E.A. Frongillo, and S.J. Jones. 2005. "Food insecurity affects school children's academic performance, weight gain, and social skills." Journal of Nutrition 135(12):2831 2839. 4. 5.