This dissertation is a quantitative study of campus food pantries located in public four-year colleges and universities in the United States. The research aims to explain relationships among campus food pantries and surrounding neighborhood characteristics affecting local food environments. There are two parts to the study: (a) the quantitative analysis through responses from a participant questionnaire; and (b) a case study analysis to accompany the quantitative analysis. The researcher identified three metropolitan counties within U.S. census tracts, to determine the relationship between neighborhood demographics, the local food environment, and the impact on campus communities. The researcher explored food accessibility within college or university distances. Organizational and administrative perspectives about campus food pantries and basic student needs have been conceptualized in the context of education, sociology, and anthropology, among others. The types of food available at food retailers have not been studied to understand student populations and the role of campus food pantries in higher education. This study specifically considers food pantries from an administrative point of view, and asks three different research questions:

1. What are the most significant factors contributing to the growth of campus food pantries?

2. To what extent have food pantries on college campuses helped to alleviate food insecurity among students?

3. What are the ways in which college food pantries have improved the dietary needs of student populations?

The researcher suggests that an increase in the types of food stores in neighborhoods, such as convenience stores, can limit the types of food items available in the community and on college and university campuses. The researcher also suggests that a variety of food stores are needed to serve the diverse student populations enrolled at colleges and universities.

Finally, this study provides recommendations for advancing student success and integrating campus food pantry services with academic success.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Food banks -- United States; College students -- United States; Food security -- Education (Higher)

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Kfir Mordechay