Compositional Change, Material Hardships, and Coping Strategies: A Comparison of Rural Missouri Food Pantry Users: 2005 to 2010

The recent economic downturn has witnessed a substantial growth in the population that is food insecure. Yet, little is known about how changing economic conditions may have affected the composition, hardships, and coping strategies of the population at risk for food insecurity.  This project investigates the impact of the current recession on food pantry users in rural Missouri using data from Wave I (2005) and Wave II (2010) of the Missouri Food Pantry Client Survey.

The aims of the study are to:

  • Document how the composition of food pantry users has changed in rural Missouri.
  • Compare the extent of material hardships and food tradeoffs made by food pantry users in 2010 as compared to 2005.
  • Determine if the types of coping strategies deployed to meet hunger needs (use of local institutions and social networks) have changed over the last five years.
  • Analyze how participation in federal programs has changed among food pantry clients between 2005 and 2010.
  • Decompose observed temporal differences in the key outcomes into the portion due to changes in endowments and the portion due to changes in coefficients (and their interaction).

Publications

Food Tradeoffs among Food Pantry Clients in Missouri, 2005 & 2010 PDF
University of Missouri Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security with project support from the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research
Joan Hermsen and Sandy Rikoon