INFLUENCE OF FOOD-RELATED LIFE SKILLS ON FOOD SECURITY OF RURAL, LOW-INCOME FAMILIES
Grutzmacher, Stephanie Kristen
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This study examined the effects of food-related life skills on food security in a sample of rural, low-income mothers. While research suggests that income and food assistance benefits do not protect low-income families from food insecurity, the potential of food resource management to optimize limited income and food assistance is unknown. Linear regression was employed to determine the extent to which food-related life skills affect food security status within the sample. Findings indicate that mothers in food secure households are significantly more likely to possess food-related life skills than mothers in food insecure households. The ability to make a family budget was a significant predictor of food security, while income relative to household size and poverty level, food stamps, and participation in WIC and the School Lunch Program were not significant predictors. Findings emphasize the importance of helping low-income families obtain skills and resources that protect them from food insecurity.