Daily dietary intake patterns improve after visiting a food pantry among food-insecure rural midwestern adults

Breanne N. Wright, Regan L. Bailey, Bruce A. Craig, Richard D. Mattes, Lacey McCormack, Suzanne Stluka, Lisa Franzen-Castle, Becky Henne, Donna Mehrle, Dan Remley, Heather A. Eicher-Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Emergency food pantries provide food at no cost to low-resource populations. The purpose of this study was to evaluate single-day dietary intake patterns before and after visiting a food pantry among food-secure and food-insecure pantry clients. This observational cohort study comprised a paired, before-and-after design with a pantry visit as the intervention. Participants (n = 455) completed a demographic and food security assessment, and two 24-h dietary recalls. Adult food security was measured using the U.S. Household Food Security Survey Module. Dietary intake patterns were assessed using Automated Self-Administered 24-h Recall data and classified by Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2010) scores, dietary variety, number of eating occasions, and energy intake. Paired t-tests and Wilcoxon signed-rank tests compared outcomes before and after a pantry visit. Mean dietary variety increased after the pantry visit among both food-secure (p = 0.02) and food-insecure (p < 0.0001) pantry clients. Mean energy intake (p = 0.0003), number of eating occasions (p = 0.004), and HEI-2010 component scores for total fruit (p < 0.001) and whole fruit (p < 0.0003) increased among food-insecure pantry clients only. A pantry visit may improve dietary intake patterns, especially among food-insecure pantry clients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number583
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 9 2018


  • Dietary patterns
  • Dietary quality
  • Emergency food assistance
  • Food insecurity
  • Food pantry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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