Date of Graduation

Summer 8-26-2015

Document Type

Project

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

College/School

School of Nursing and Health Professions

Abstract

Food insecurity is a serious problem in the United States. Not having enough food to eat can negatively impact children more severely than adults. Children who are food insecure are more likely to suffer from a range of physical, mental, and developmental delays in growth. There is prior evidence that the effects of food insecurity in children can be ameliorated through national feeding programs, like the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), which provides daily lunch at school for eligible low-income children. Though these types of programs are considered successful in addressing food insecurity within the community, the lack of these services when school is out, like during the summer, is problematic and creates seasonal food insecurity. Local community leaders around California have recognized this problem and have developed a feeding program out of the public libraries to address this community need. The current study focuses on evaluating this program in San Mateo County and San Jose. Study results found that participants overwhelmingly enjoyed the lunch program and did not experience any barriers to attending. Personal food insecurity and perception of food insecurity in the community varied greatly among the population sampled. These findings emphasize the continued need for sustainable summer feeding programs through the public libraries.

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