Hardaway’s Honor Mural Project Helps Raise Awareness of Full Circle Pantry

Micayla blair

Food, Nutrition and Health student Kylanna Hardaway developed the idea for her honors research project after volunteering to work at the Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry and then struggling to do so. find on campus.

The Jane B. Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry is a student-led emergency food program at the University of America that provides students, staff, faculty, temporary and hourly employees with products from groceries and personal care items.

The Pantry, located on the east side of Bud Walton Hall on Stadium Drive, was the site of an ongoing project measuring the impact of passive art on perceptions. The pantry can be hard to find, which gave Kylanna Hardaway the idea for her honors research project.

On December 3, an inauguration ceremony and an open house were held for the unveiling of a mural that was installed on the exterior wall of the pantry. The mural was designed by Hardaway, a food, nutrition and health student at the School of Human Environmental Sciences.

Working with Sabrina Trudo, associate professor of human nutrition and dietetics and holder of the 21st Century Endowed Chair in Environmental Humanities, Hardaway has collected weeks of survey data to measure the effect of her design.

The installation of the mural, which took place in October, was intentionally not made public until the end of data collection, which led to the event on December 3. The inauguration ceremony and the open house also marked the end of 10 years of the pantry.

One of the goals of Hardaway’s mural is to increase awareness of the pantry and its location.

“I got the idea to create a mural after signing up to volunteer at the pantry last semester and realized I had no idea where it was.” , said Hardaway. “After referencing directional photos on Google, I was shocked to learn that I had spent almost every day on the way to HPER and never even noticed it. Coming from an artistic background. , the long brick wall on the side of the pantry looked like a huge blank canvas to me – the perfect spot for a mural that could provide signage and curb appeal for the pantry. “

Hardaway says the high rates of food insecurity among college students, coupled with poor eating habits of emerging adults in general, show the need for increased nutrition awareness in this population.

Previously published research indicates that despite the benefits of healthy eating and the availability of on-campus pantries, the embarrassment and negative social stigma associated with pantries discourages many of the roughly 42% of students in need. food insecurity from using pantries.

Public art can passively raise awareness, empower viewers to take action and initiate social change. Hardaway’s project takes an innovative approach using passive art to help improve perception.

The results of the impact of a mural on perceptions of pantry and patronage on a college campus will be analyzed, along with the implications for other food and nutrition programs.

“Kylanna’s project helps raise awareness of the high prevalence of food insecurity among students as well as some of the barriers to seeking help from pantries,” Trudo said. “The project also underlines the importance of developing a variety of innovative approaches to tackle such a complex challenge.”

The pantry is part of the U of A Volunteer Center and is advised by the Community Engagement Center.

About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates to be leaders in businesses associated with food, family, environment, agriculture, sustainability and quality of life. human life; and who will be the prime candidates for employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named after Dale Bumpers, a former governor of Arkansas and a long-time U.S. senator who made the state a major player in national and international agriculture. For more information on Bumpers College, visit our website and follow us on Twitter at @ Bumpers College and Instagram at BumpersCollege.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A offers internationally competitive education in over 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $ 2.2 billion to the Arkansas economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while providing training in professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation ranks the U of A among the top 3% of colleges and universities in the United States with the highest level of research activity. American News and World Report ranks the U of A among the best public universities in the country. Find out how the U of A is working to build a better world on Arkansas Research News.

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