Published: November 2021
Bibliographic reference: Norbert L W Wilson, Larissa Calancie, Janna Adkins, Sara C Folta, Understanding Micro-pantries as an Emergency Food Source During the COVID-19 Pandemic, J Nutr Educ Behav. 2022 Apr;54(4):299-310. doi: 10.1016/j.jneb.2021.11.002. Epub 2022 Jan 14.
Objective: To explore the role of micro-pantries in addressing food insecurity during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Design: Qualitative interviews with 20 micro-pantry users and 10 stakeholders during April and May, 2020.
Setting: Six US states.
Participants: Users, aged ≥ 18 years, had obtained food from a micro-pantry in the past 2 weeks; stakeholders, aged ≥ 18 years, played a role in organizing micro-pantries at the community, regional, or national levels.
Phenomena of Interest: Impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity and use of micro-pantries to mitigate it; benefits of, suggested improvements to, and adoption and administration of micro-pantries.
Analysis: We transcribed the data verbatim and performed deductive qualitative content analysis.
Results: Micro-pantry users had increased their use of both micro-pantries and regular food pantries during the pandemic. Micro-pantries helped stretch resources. Users appreciated the anonymity and choice;the mutual aid aspects reduced stigma. Stakeholders described micro-pantries as providing a direct way for neighbors to help neighbors during the pandemic. They described a decentralized and informal system of administration.
Conclusions and Implications: Findings suggest that micro-pantries provided a supplemental food source that supported the resilience of communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keywords: food insecurity, charitable food, pandemic, mutual aid, resilience (J Nutr Educ Behav. 2021;000:1−12.)
Accepted November 5, 2021
To download paper: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2021.11.002; https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35039234/