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Food Evaluation Essay

1488 words - 6 pages

Hunger is an issue that impacts students at the University of Kansas. This report will highlight the evaluation that was done to justify the opening of a food pantry on campus. The report covers the initial proactive evaluation, the clarifying evaluation, an interactive evaluation, and a monitoring evaluation.

Proactive Evaluation
The purpose of the proactive evaluation is to find out if there is a hunger issue at the University of Kansas. Based on the results of the evaluation, a program could be created to meet the needs of the student population that is impacted by hunger. Information for the program can be collected from students on campus and from local food pantries.
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By analyzing their client demographics, researchers can see if their are any patterns between the data and the information gathered from the KU student survey.
Student development theories show that students have basic needs and that they are impacted by environmental factors. Maslow identified needs that must be built upon for development to occur. These needs are physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization (Maslow, 1943). Physiological needs include access to food, water, shelter, sex, and breathing. If students do not have access to food, then their basic needs are not being met. If their basic needs are not being met, then they will have difficulty reaching esteem and self-actualization. This is an issue because higher education serves as a tool for students to gain experience in the realm of self-actualization (problem solving, creativity, and morality).
Other institutions are having issues with hunger on their campuses. The University of California Los Angeles has a small food pantry on campus. The food is donated and students can take what they need (NPR). The University of Missouri has a student run food pantry close to campus. This pantry allows students, faculty, and staff to take food once a month. It does not require proof of need (Mizzou). Colorado State University is looking to have a food pantry on campus, but the administration is wanting more support from the student population (CSU Article). It is beneficial to have the investment from students, since they will be using the pantry and can help spread information through their social networks.

Clarifying Evaluation
The proactive evaluation helped identify the students who do not have access to enough food. According to the quantitative survey, 8% (2,240 students) of the population does not have adequate access to food. These students primarily have a low socioeconomic status, are older, and live off campus. The students told researchers that they did not have transportation to reach the nearest food pantry, that they did not know how to cook using raw ingredients, and they they were unaware of food pantries in the local community. Not having access to food was placed a great deal of stress on the students, with many students reporting that it has negatively impacted their academic performance.
Based on the proactive evaluation data and best-practices from peer institutions, it is recommended that the University of Kansas create a food pantry on campus. The goals of the program are to provide students with nutritious food and to teach students how to cook food from raw ingredients. The goal will be reach by having a pantry stocked with donated goods that students can take from. The pantry will aim to give food to 740 students, 33 percent of the identified student population in need, within 6 months of being open. Students in need will have greater access to a food pantry that is located on campus. The pantry is something that students can stop by...

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