Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Karla Kennedy-Hagan


This study was designed to assess eating habits, cooking habits, and nutritional knowledge of food pantry clients. As a whole, the average American consumes a less-than-optimal intake of nutrients. This, combined with the elevated national food insecurity rate of 14.5%, produces an advantageous situation to educate food pantry clients about healthy lifestyle practice through cooking. This study utilized a quasi-experimental design including a pre-assessment, intervention, post-assessment design. Forty-nine participants were included in study, and either received a cookbook (intervention group) or were a control subject and only completed surveys. Results revealed that the cookbook intervention did not elicit any behavior change, nor was there any observable change in knowledge. This study provided support for nutrition education interventions that are rooted in hands-on programs, and concluded that take-home materials may not be an effective method.