This study compares the perception of stigma measured as social distance between users (n = 40) and non-users (n = 202) of local food pantries in the Upper Midwest. Utilizing the concept of social distance to measure social disapproval and stigma with a new Food Pantry Stigma Scale, these nonprobability results indicated that users’ perception of stigma was significantly higher than the non-using public (Cohen’s d = 1.56). These findings suggest that public support for need-based use of local food pantries in the Upper Midwest is substantially higher than those facing food insecurity anticipate.



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