Journal of Community Health

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 1193–1200 | Cite as

Use of Hospital-Based Food Pantries Among Low-Income Urban Cancer Patients

  • Francesca Gany
  • Trevor Lee
  • Rebecca Loeb
  • Julia Ramirez
  • Alyssa Moran
  • Michael Crist
  • Thelma McNish
  • Jennifer C. F. Leng
Original Paper


To examine uptake of a novel emergency food system at five cancer clinics in New York City, hospital-based food pantries, and predictors of use, among low-income urban cancer patients. This is a nested cohort study of 351 patients who first visited the food pantries between October 3, 2011 and January 1, 2013. The main outcome was continued uptake of this food pantry intervention. Generalized estimating equation (GEE) statistical analysis was conducted to model predictors of pantry visit frequency. The median number of return visits in the 4 month period after a patient’s initial visit was 2 and the mean was 3.25 (SD 3.07). The GEE model showed that younger patients used the pantry less, immigrant patients used the pantry more (than US-born), and prostate cancer and Stage IV cancer patients used the pantry more. Future long-term larger scale studies are needed to further assess the utilization, as well as the impact of food assistance programs such as the this one, on nutritional outcomes, cancer outcomes, comorbidities, and quality of life. Cancer patients most at risk should be taken into particular consideration.


Food assistance programs Food pantries Cancer patients Low-income 



This study was conducted with funding from the New York Community Trust, the CCNY-MSKCC Partnership for Cancer Research, Training, and Community Outreach (U54CA137788), the New York State Health Foundation, and the Laurie Tisch Illumination Fund. The study was granted exempt status by MSKCC’s Institutional Review Board

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesca Gany
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Trevor Lee
    • 1
  • Rebecca Loeb
    • 5
  • Julia Ramirez
    • 1
  • Alyssa Moran
    • 6
  • Michael Crist
    • 7
  • Thelma McNish
    • 1
  • Jennifer C. F. Leng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Immigrant Health and Cancer Disparities Service, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of Healthcare Policy and ResearchWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA
  4. 4.Department of MedicineWeill Cornell Medical CollegeNew YorkUSA
  5. 5.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer CenterNew YorkUSA
  6. 6.New York City Department of Health and Mental HygieneNew YorkUSA
  7. 7.New York University School of MedicineNew YorkUSA

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