Year of Publication

2020

College

Public Health

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. John Lyons

Committee Member

Dr. Jennifer Knight

Committee Member

Dr. Kathi Harp

Committee Member

Dr. Julie Plasencia

Abstract

Hunger is a global public health issue and finding a solution is a priority for the United Nations. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2.2 calls for ending hunger, achieving food security, improving nutrition, and promoting sustainable agriculture for all people by 2030. The Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH) Summit, originating with the United Nation’s originated World Food Programme (WFP) and Auburn University, convenes attendees annually to share their own knowledge and ideas about how to “fight hunger,” as well as benefit from others knowledge and ideas. An important factor in tackling hunger and achieving health is addressing poverty and low socioeconomic status (SES). Due to the profound impact SES has on all aspects of life (including neuroscience) at all ages, the current study has two research objectives: 1) to examine if there is a relationship between childhood SES of UFWH Summit attendees (n=16) and their intention in adulthood to participate in food security in their community, and 2) to examine if there is a relationship between childhood SES of UFWH Summit attendees and their knowledge of food security initiatives. The current study found no significant differences in means between high-childhood SES group and low-childhood SES group when asked about their intentions to participate in their community within the next 6 months. One item in the knowledge portion of the study (campus food recovery efforts) showed a significant difference in means (p=0.048). This trend indicates a need for further exploration in future studies. It is recommended to continue the research into these topics with a larger sample size to understand more about how childhood socioeconomic status may influence intentions in participate in community efforts into adulthood. Repeating this study and similar studies in advocacy-driven conference settings will help us better understand the individuals that attend these conferences and how to improve the conference content in order to increase advocacy for public health and participation in the future.

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