Using arts-based communication tools to improve food pantry models:
Jourdan, Hillary Anne Louisette
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This study aimed to investigate the benefits of arts-based research methodologies as a needs assessment tool in the food assistance field, by engaging food pantry clientele to co-create solutions for more effective food pantry models. This qualitative study used two arts-based approaches to communicate and engage with food pantry clientele; a researcher-led process, in which the researcher used collected data to create public art installations as a communication tool to showcase clients’ experiences in food insecurity, and a participant-led process, in which clients created art pieces about their experiences through a series of creative workshops. Results showed the integration of art in the research process provided researchers and participants in a more engaging process, which challenged the artists to critically examine their experiences in new ways. As participants created art pieces, they took ownership over their stories, encouraging them to create actionable solutions in their own lives.