Date of Award
Nutrition and Hospitality Management
The purpose of this research was to determine the prevalence of food insecurity within the University of Mississippi community. The project also investigated whether the University of Mississippi (UM) community supports and/ or knows about the UM Food Bank. A survey to determine perceived levels of food insecurity and knowledge of and opinions about the UM Food Bank was dispersed through Qualtrics Survey Software via University email to one-third of the UM faculty, staff, graduate students (including Pharmacy and Law), and undergraduate students. The final survey response count was 356 (response rate: 6.48%). Data collected for questions pertaining to food insecurity were analyzed using the guidelines found under Coding Responses for Assessing Households' Food Security Status, derived from the U.S. Household Food Security Survey Module: Six-Item Short Form Economic Research Service, USDA. Summary statistics were calculated using Excel spreadsheets and pivot tables to determine knowledge of and opinions about the UM Food Bank and demographic characteristics of survey respondents in addition to various percentages and figures. Chi Square analysis was conducted to test for differences in relative frequencies of categories between independent groups of classification and gender (Conover, 1999 and Seigel, 1956). Results indicated that 30% of respondents were coded as having low food security and 11.5% of respondents were coded as having very low food security. Also, 40.8% of the UM community does not know that the UM Food Bank exists, 84.2% do not believe that they would qualify for its services, while only 2.5% support it. Chi Square tests indicated significant differences between the different classifications of respondents for the question concerning awareness of the food bank. All classifications except graduate students predominately answered that they were aware of the food bank. Graduate students were about equally divided in their awareness of the food bank. All classifications answered the Do you think you would qualify? and Have you received items from the food bank? questions statistically the same. All classifications answered that they did not believe that they would qualify for assistance from the food bank and had not received items from the food bank.
Eubanks, Megan Marie, "The Prevalence of Food Insecurity within the University of Mississippi Community and Knowledge of and Opinions About the University of Mississippi Food Bank" (2017). Honors Theses. 684.