Giving Economically Disadvantaged, Minority Food Pantry Patrons' a Voice: Implications for Equitable Access to Sufficient, Nutritious Food

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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This study provides economically disadvantaged, minority food pantry patrons (hereafter, patrons) a meaning-ful voice by examining their experiences trying to obtain sufficient, nutritious food. Five focus groups were conducted using a semistructured discussion guide. Atlast.ti software was used to manage and analyze the data. Patrons reported that pantry staff who preserved their dignity by showing compassion were highly valued. Stigma and shame associated with pantry use were major concerns. Patrons suggested environmental and policy changes to improve their food acquisition experiences. These findings suggest that multilevel interventions addressing food access, food distribution policies, and patron-staff interactions are warranted.