Research Brief| Volume 51, ISSUE 1, P91-95, January 2019

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Food Sources for Homeless Youth: An Evaluation of Food Availability at a Homeless Youth Drop-In Center

Published:September 29, 2018DOI:



      We utilized a validated food inventory questionnaire to assess the types and quality of food available at a homeless youth drop-in center.


      Scores for 13 food categories were computed; higher scores indicated a greater availability of foods found in that category. A summative score was computed to assess the presence of obesogenic foods.


      Dry cereal, vegetables, and meat, were the most available foods; 83.3%, 60.9%, and 56.3% of food items in each category, respectively, were available. The food categories with least available items included candy and dairy: 26.6% and 25.4% of items in those categories, respectively. Mean obesogenic food availability score was 31 ± 4.2 (range 23–34), out of a possible score of 71.

      Conclusions and Implications

      It is possible for a drop-in center to provide healthful foods to homeless youth. Further studies examining the extent to which drop-in centers contribute to the homeless youth food environment are warranted.

      Key Words

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