Marie Frances Harla


This poster reflects research conducted as part of a course project designed to give students experience in the research process.



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Food insecurity and lack of cooking skills are issues that are prevalent in Dayton, Ohio. Many individuals and families visit food pantries and utilize other forms of nutrition assistance programs as a hunger safety net. With God’s Grace, a mobile food pantry, is providing monthly food distributions at East End Community Center in Dayton to those in need. In order to build cooking skills and nutrition education, a cooking demonstration was added to the monthly food distribution at East End. University of Dayton dietetic students run the cooking demonstration, and the purpose of this is to provide nutrition education and build cooking skills. The purpose of this study is to explore if the cooking demonstrations will increase utilization of the food that is distributed. Data will be collected from a survey after the participants have seen the cooking demonstration and tasted the sample. Recipes will also be distributed so that the participants can re-create the meal at home. The goal is to create healthy and easy recipes that participants will want to make on their own. The survey collects data on if they liked the recipe, why they would make it, and what are any barriers to making it. Survey results have been collected from September 2018 through February 2019, and they will be analyzed to explore how effective the cooking demonstration was to increasing people’s likelihood of utilizing the food provided by the mobile food pantry.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project

Primary Advisor

Diana Cuy Castellanos, Haozhou Pu

Primary Advisor's Department

Health and Sport Science


Stander Symposium project

Addressing Food Insecurity through the use of Cooking Demonstrations at a Local Mobile Food Pantry