Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Public Health (M.P.H.)

Degree Program

Public Health

First Advisor

Jody L. Vogelzang

Second Advisor

Lara Jaskiewicz

Third Advisor

Emma Garcia


Individuals with a lower socioeconomic status are at higher risk for chronic disease diagnosis and complications (Gerteis et al., 2014). The NOW Program is a social service program that was created in order to relieve some of the burden placed on these individuals utilizing the charitable food system. The purpose of the study was to perform a quantitative program evaluation on the NOW Program which is administered by pantry coordinating organization. The NOW Program connects chronically ill, low income members of Kent County with local food pantries that offer diet specific food and health education about their specific chronic disease through Spectrum Health Healthier Communities and other community classes. The program evaluation was performed on participants of the NOW Program with a program start date between July 2013 and July 2014. Descriptive statistics and repeated measure linear regressions were performed on the participant study group included in the program evaluation both with and without an adjustment for age of the participant. The NOW Program is helping the NOW Program participants make healthier choices for their disease state. However, it cannot be said that the NOW Program is working in a statistically significant manner. Small sample size due to a lack of data recorded in the pantry network database may contribute to a lack of statistically significant findings. An increase in accountability for the pantry network data base between the pantry coordinating organization and the pantry leaders will be necessary for improvement of the NOW Program. Frequent data cleaning and review of the database will provide more of an understanding of recruitment and retention in the NOW Program.