A MOTHeRS PERSPECTIVE SATISFACTION OF TAILORED FOOD BAGS FOR FOOD INSECURE PREGNANT PATIENTS

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Date

2023-05-03

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2025-05-01

Authors

Modi, Vedika V

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East Carolina University

Abstract

Food insecurity (FIS) is associated with poor diet quality with rural areas disproportionately affected. A balanced diet is critical during pregnancy to optimize fetal development, as the fetal origins hypothesis demonstrates that poor dietary intake in-utero can adversely impact future generations. FIS is also associated with stress, which can be alleviated by addressing FIS, further promoting wellness during pregnancy. A pilot health intervention program was created to address FIS through the MOTHeRS Project (Maternal Outreach Through Telehealth for Rural Sites). Patients were screened for FIS using the Hunger Vital Sign questionnaire, validated for screening in primary care. Those who screened positive received a medically tailored food bag that day at the partner clinic. Bags were formulated with optimal nutrition and shelf stability in mind, along with nutrition education resources, recipes, and dietary information for pregnancy. Results from patient interviews demonstrated high satisfaction and utilization of the food, with the majority not receiving other food assistance despite FIS risk. Some foods (canned mushrooms, garbanzo beans) were reported as unfamiliar and unused, however, the majority reported utilizing all resources provided, with most sharing contents with their household, especially their children. To the author’s knowledge, this study is one of the first to provide medically tailored food bags within the primary care setting to pregnant patients and evaluate the perception and utilization of the resources provided. Results from this study can be utilized to design similar programming for pregnant patients at high risk of FIS that complements or fills gaps in traditional food resources.

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