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Studying non-use of food assistance among low-income San Franciscans

Date Added to Library: 
Friday, February 15, 2013 - 14:49
Individual Author: 
Grusky, David B.
Wimer, Christopher
Wright, Rachel
Fong, Kelley
Reference Type: 
Research Methodology: 
Published Date: 
February 2013
Published Date (Text): 
February 2013
IRP Discussion Paper
Issue Number: 

This qualitative study examines low-income San Franciscans’ decision-making around using or not using food from food banks and government food assistance programs. This project will help understand the in-depth processes that underlie low-income people’s decisions around food assistance, and therefore help public and private stakeholders improve systems of food assistance delivery, particularly around increasing take-up of healthy foods like fresh produce. Using approximately 60 in-depth interviews with low-income San Franciscans, this study will address the following questions: (1) What are the most prevalent reasons for non-use among low-income individuals who do not access food bank services? (2) How do the prevalence of these reasons differ by groups of individuals (parents of schoolchildren, residents of low-income housing projects, and unemployed individuals)? (3) How and why do non-users interface with other government food assistance programs like food stamps, school meals, etc.? And (4) How and why do nonusers utilize cheap, unhealthy food like fast food and “junk” food vs. the healthier food, including fresh produce, that they might get from food bank sites? (author abstract)

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