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UBC Undergraduate Research

UBC Food Security : Interventions & Evaluation Scan Clarke, Megan; Kao, Mimi; Ma, Kathy; Zefanya, Levania; Quinlan, Alison; Tang, Ian


Food insecurity is a major public health concern affecting 821 million people globally (FAO, 2018). However, only recently have university students been gaining more attention as a population that is vulnerable to food insecurity. A 2016 survey administered to undergraduate students in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia (UBC) found 45% of the students who completed the survey were food insecure (Rideout et al., 2017). Despite this high number, food insecurity initiatives at UBC are limited. In order for our community partner, Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS), to proceed with discussions on potential larger-scale food insecurity programs to be implemented at UBC, evidence from other universities of similar scale needs to be gathered. Therefore, our overall project goal was to research and evaluate campus-run initiatives aimed at reducing food insecurity at other university campuses to inform UBC's strategic plan on implementing future initiatives. For our project, we compiled information on 42 food insecurity initiatives at various English speaking universities and framed our findings according to the Socio-Ecological Model (SEM). The compiled information from our environmental scan was one of the main outputs of our project and was used as a tool to communicate our findings to our community partner. We presented our findings and conducted an evaluation with our community partner to determine whether the information was useful and whether it helped to increase their knowledge on the topic. We also evaluated the appropriateness of using the SEM to frame our findings. We transcribed our community partner’s responses to the evaluation questions and discussed this information verbally as a group to debrief and identify key lessons learned. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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