Paper Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Brooks College of Health

Degree Name

Doctor of Clinical Nutrition (DCN)


Nutrition & Dietetics

NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. Department of Nutrition & Dietetics

First Advisor

Dr. Lauri Wright

Second Advisor

Dr. Andrea Arikawa

Third Advisor

Dr. Jen Ross

Department Chair

Dr. Lauri Wright

College Dean

Dr. Curt Lox


In America, millions of families and children face hunger and food insecurity every day. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, more than thirty-eight million people experienced hunger in 2020. As many as 13 million children in the United States live in food-insecure homes. Many households that experience food insecurity do not qualify for federal nutrition programs. While valuable, barriers to these programs can block food-insecure households with children and prevent access to healthy food. The impact of adverse health and nutritional consequences, of a food-insecure household, will continue to plague our communities until efficient programming connects to those in need. Household and child food insecurity has greatly changed. Since the pandemic, our respect for food systems, food availability, and food security has greatly intensified. The actual numbers of food insecurity within these past two years are yet to be realized. While the above statistics are alarming, the concern is that food insecurity data will greatly worsen, specifically in families with children. The COVID-19 pandemic has made us all aware that, as a nation, we need to develop many programs to assure everyone has a place at the table. This proposed study will collaborate with a community pilot program that is trying to fill that gap. The program provides home-delivered meals and serves children in need of healthy foods. An evaluation and impact study for program recipients will analyze the impact of nutrition security and perceived benefits from the participation of the nutrition-focused, home delivery meal program.