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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

Cultural Experiences of Poverty and Food Insecurity

Status Current
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 08/01/2011
End Date 05/30/2012
Funding Source Research in the Community Award
Funding Amount
Community Partner
Related Course
Last Updated 09/21/2011 11:23PM
Keywords food bank of alaska, anchorage, food insecurity, poverty


  Tracey Burke

Student Researchers
  Krista Howard


7.2% of Anchorage residents live below the poverty level (US Census, 2009). Due to recent complications in the economy this number has jumped. In Anchorage, even more people are hungry: 10% of adults and 15% of children (Behavioral Risk Fact Surveillance System Survey, 2006). rIhe recent Hunger Study suggests that this number of adults and children have jumped significantly, finding that 35% of individuals who are served by the Food Bank of Alaska are children (Mabli, Cohen, Potter, & Zhao, 2010). As a Community Engaged Student Assistant, helping with a service-learning class (SWK A243), I have worked with The Food Bank of Alaska to do food stamp outreach at mobile food pantries. During this time I have interacted with families with children attending the mobile food pantries, and I have heard stories of how families must juggle thod and other basic needs. According to Hunger in America (Mabli, Cohen, Potter, & Zhao, 2010) 45% of clients served by FBA report having to chose between paying for food or paying for utilities.

The project I want to conduct is part of a larger research project being conducted by my faculty mentor, who also teaches the service-learning class. Dr. Tracey Burke has a long standing relationship with the FBA. This larger qualitative project is intended to illuminate the existing quantitative information available about hunger in Anchorage to insure that a subsequent Food Bank plan to improve services is meaningful in the lives of people who suffer from food insecurity. The overall research question is: What are the experiences of poverty and hunger among people who use food pantries in Anchorage?

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