Understanding Micro-pantries as an Emergency Food Source During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
To explore the role of micro-pantries in addressing food insecurity during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Qualitative interviews with 20 micro-pantry users and 10 stakeholders during April and May, 2020.
Six US states.
Users, aged ≥ 18 years, had obtained food from a micro-pantry in the past 2 weeks; stakeholders, aged ≥ 18 years, played a role in organizing micro-pantries at the community, regional, or national levels.
Phenomena of interest
Impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity and use of micro-pantries to mitigate it; benefits of, suggested improvements to, and adoption and administration of micro-pantries.
We transcribed the data verbatim and performed deductive qualitative content analysis.
Micro-pantry users had increased their use of both micro-pantries and regular food pantries during the pandemic. Micro-pantries helped stretch resources. Users appreciated the anonymity and choice; the mutual aid aspects reduced stigma. Stakeholders described micro-pantries as providing a direct way for neighbors to help neighbors during the pandemic. They described a decentralized and informal system of administration.
Conclusions and implications
Findings suggest that micro-pantries provided a supplemental food source that supported the resilience of communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wilson, NLW; Calancie, L; Adkins, J; Folta, SC
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Pubmed Central ID
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)