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Assessing the Quality and Quantity of Initially Unused Food among Urban Food Pantry Clients in Baltimore, Maryland

January 26, 2022
Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition

Pruden B, Reznar MM, Gunen B, Yan S, Neff RA, Poirier L, Hinman S, Park R, Katragadda N, Goskinski N, & Gittelsohn, J.

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Objective was to assess amount of/reasons for, unused food from client-choice and traditional food pantries through a prospective, observational study. Two weeks after baseline visits, clients estimated percentage of products consumed and reported why unused products were not consumed through interviews. Participants were 28 clients from Baltimore, MD pantries. Clients reported consuming perishable foods first compared to shelf-stable foods. The most common reason for not using items was “plan to use later.” There were no significant differences in unused food between pantry models. Future studies on client food waste should include larger samples and longer follow-up periods.