ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial Engineering


Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

First Advisor

Jamie Rogers

Second Advisor

Caroline Krejci


To address the issue of food insecurity, many small independent agencies, known as food pantries, collect and distribute donated food to food-insecure clients. However, the supply of donated food varies significantly from week to week, leading to frequent mismatches in supply and demand. One approach to addressing this problem is to facilitate greater food pantry collaboration, such that they are able to balance supply and demand among themselves. However, their interpersonal relationships and the additional costs associated with transshipments can be a barrier to collaboration. The objective of this research is to use modeling to gain a better understanding of the conditions that facilitate food pantry collaboration, the degree to which collaboration can improve overall food assistance system efficiency and effectiveness, and the kinds of collaborative structures lead to the best outcomes. This paper describes a conceptual agent-based model of a food assistance network in Tarrant County, Texas, as well an extended model. The conceptual model was developed to test the effects of different collaborative group sizes and different levels of weekly supply variability on overall service levels (i.e., percentage of client demand filled) and transportation cost. Results suggest that the benefits of increased service levels may outweigh the cost of increased transportation for small collaborative groups. The extended model allows the pantries to choose their collaborating partners according to their preference. Results show a significant reduction in food waste and an increase in service level, but with transshipment costs. This study also provides collected data from 52 pantries under Tarrant Area Food Bank, on their demand and supply, operations, current collaborative behavior and their perspectives on collaboration.


agent-based modeling, food assistance networks, supply chain


Engineering | Operations Research, Systems Engineering and Industrial Engineering


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington