Date of Degree


Document Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Holly A. DiLeo


Gustavo Salazar


Background Food insecurity is the limited availability and inconsistent accessibility of healthy foods (Coleman-Jensen et al., 2022a). Food insecurity contributes to mental health problems. Individuals with food insecurity have greater odds of screening positive for depression and anxiety (Wolfson et al., 2021). The Hunger Vital Sign™ screening tool is a 2-questions evidence-based tool used to identify food insecurity (Hager et al., 2010). Purpose. Implement the Hunger Vital Sign™ tool at a non-profit behavior health clinic to identify food insecurity in adults who screened positive for anxiety or depression, offer resources for them to obtain nutritious food, and provide additional information on healthy foods to clients with chronic conditions. Interventions. 1) educate stakeholders on the Hunger Vital Sign™ tool, 2) screen clients with symptoms of anxiety or depression for food insecurity, 3) provide resources for nutritious foods to clients who screen positive, and 4) provide information on healthy living to clients with chronic conditions. Outcomes. Screening for food insecurity increased from zero to use in all clients with signs of depression or anxiety. All but two of the five objectives for this project were met. The project revealed that of the clients who screened positive for food insecurity, 71.43% also suffered from anxiety or depression. Implications for Practice. This initiative can improve mental health outcomes by reducing food insecurity using an evidence-based screening tool and providing resources for clients to access nutritious and inexpensive food to help them live healthy lives.