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Article

Investigating the Feasibility of a Restaurant Delivery Service to Improve Food Security among College Students Experiencing Marginal Food Security, a Head-to-Head Trial with Grocery Store Gift Cards

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Department of Public Health, California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA 94542, USA
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University Libraries, California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA 94542, USA
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Pioneers for H.O.P.E., California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA 94542, USA
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Department of Research, Alameda County Community Food Bank, Oakland, CA 94621, USA
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Department of Social Work, California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA 94542, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Carmen Pérez-Rodrigo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9680; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189680
Received: 24 July 2021 / Revised: 25 August 2021 / Accepted: 9 September 2021 / Published: 14 September 2021
Restaurant delivery services have gained in popularity among college students; however, students participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) are not allowed to redeem their benefits via restaurant delivery services. This mixed-methods head-to-head crossover trial assessed whether college students experiencing marginal food security prefer benefits via a grocery store gift card (as a proxy for traditional SNAP benefits) or via a restaurant delivery service gift card of equivalent value, and which type of benefit is more effective at improving food security status. Thirty college students experiencing marginal food security were recruited to receive $80 in cash equivalent benefits to spend over a two-month period in the form of grocery store gift cards and restaurant delivery service gift cards. Participants completed surveys and interviews to measure their food security status and share their experiences with each benefit type. After four months of benefits, 48.3% of participants improved their food security status. However, neither type of benefit was statistically better at improving food security status. Most participants preferred grocery store benefits (89.7%) over restaurant delivery service benefits (10.3%). However, more research is needed to explore whether allowing SNAP recipients to redeem their benefits with restaurant delivery services is a viable mechanism to address food challenges among college students experiencing marginal food security. View Full-Text
Keywords: college students; marginal food security; food insecurity; supplemental nutrition assistance program; restaurant delivery service; food aid preferences; food assistance intervention college students; marginal food security; food insecurity; supplemental nutrition assistance program; restaurant delivery service; food aid preferences; food assistance intervention
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MDPI and ACS Style

Gamba, R.J.; Wood, L.M.; Ampil, A.; Engelman, A.; Lam, J.; Schmeltz, M.T.; Pritchard, M.M.; Santillan, J.K.A.; Rivera, E.S.; Ortiz, N.; Ingram, D.; Cheyne, K.; Taylor, S. Investigating the Feasibility of a Restaurant Delivery Service to Improve Food Security among College Students Experiencing Marginal Food Security, a Head-to-Head Trial with Grocery Store Gift Cards. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9680. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189680

AMA Style

Gamba RJ, Wood LM, Ampil A, Engelman A, Lam J, Schmeltz MT, Pritchard MM, Santillan JKA, Rivera ES, Ortiz N, Ingram D, Cheyne K, Taylor S. Investigating the Feasibility of a Restaurant Delivery Service to Improve Food Security among College Students Experiencing Marginal Food Security, a Head-to-Head Trial with Grocery Store Gift Cards. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(18):9680. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189680

Chicago/Turabian Style

Gamba, Ryan J., Lana M. Wood, Adianez Ampil, Alina Engelman, Juleen Lam, Michael T. Schmeltz, Maria M. Pritchard, Joshua K.A. Santillan, Esteban S. Rivera, Nancy Ortiz, Darice Ingram, Kate Cheyne, and Sarah Taylor. 2021. "Investigating the Feasibility of a Restaurant Delivery Service to Improve Food Security among College Students Experiencing Marginal Food Security, a Head-to-Head Trial with Grocery Store Gift Cards" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 18: 9680. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189680

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