Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Kari L. Fletcher, Ph.D., LICSW


Social Work


Food is often seen as the common denominator that brings people together yet food-related issues often plague our society in negative ways. Food insecurity, defined as having limited access to food resources often, impacts individuals and households. The prevalence of food insecurity within a household can increase the risk of developing chronic health conditions and obesity. Food insecurity can also be a hard statistic to track because it is self-defined and self-reported. This qualitative research study was designed to investigate the impact of food insecurity from the perspective of providers that work within food resources programs. In total five participants were interviewed, four participants from community based food shelves and one participant from a community based free meal program. Participants of the study were asked to evaluate their perspectives on identifying the hardships and barriers that affect client populations facing food insecurity. In addition to identifying where gaps in receiving food services exist. Participants were also asked to explore ways that service providers could address service gaps and in order to impact food accessibility for their clients.

Results of the research show that four major themes impacted food security rates. These themes were transportation barriers, the impact of household income, the under-representation of seniors, disabled individuals and some ethnic groups in accessing food programs and the increased need to improve food diversity. Implications for social work practice and policy implications are also discussed to emphasize, the importance of addressing food insecurity so that the larger society can understand the full impact of the issue.

Included in

Social Work Commons