Title

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: NUTRITION AT THE POVERLLO CENTER

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

In association with the Poverello Center and the University of Montana’s Sociology Department, our study attempted to answer the question, “Can clients at the Missoula homeless shelter meet their nutritional needs based on the FDA Food Pyramid?” Evidence was gathered by undergraduate students who volunteered a minimum of two hours a week in the following programs offered by the Pov: the daily food pantry, Food Security Program, food preparation, serving and food pick-up in the Missoula area. Given the variety of food choices that the Poverello provides to its clients, we asked, “Why do clients favor some options over others?” We were concerned with learning more about which external factors (both social and environmental as well as personal preference) influenced consumers’ food choices. We gathered information from details in our field notes, which were collected while cooking, dining, and volunteering with clients. Through the detailed tracking of the donations from businesses, pantry requests, experiences serving on the line, and recipes from Chef Charlene, we believed we would find that while healthy food is available, people tend to gravitate towards highly caloric, high-in-sodium food both in the pantry and on the line. Understanding food choices of Missoula’s homeless will help service providers and volunteers better serve this communities needs.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 15th, 2:20 PM Apr 15th, 2:40 PM

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT: NUTRITION AT THE POVERLLO CENTER

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In association with the Poverello Center and the University of Montana’s Sociology Department, our study attempted to answer the question, “Can clients at the Missoula homeless shelter meet their nutritional needs based on the FDA Food Pyramid?” Evidence was gathered by undergraduate students who volunteered a minimum of two hours a week in the following programs offered by the Pov: the daily food pantry, Food Security Program, food preparation, serving and food pick-up in the Missoula area. Given the variety of food choices that the Poverello provides to its clients, we asked, “Why do clients favor some options over others?” We were concerned with learning more about which external factors (both social and environmental as well as personal preference) influenced consumers’ food choices. We gathered information from details in our field notes, which were collected while cooking, dining, and volunteering with clients. Through the detailed tracking of the donations from businesses, pantry requests, experiences serving on the line, and recipes from Chef Charlene, we believed we would find that while healthy food is available, people tend to gravitate towards highly caloric, high-in-sodium food both in the pantry and on the line. Understanding food choices of Missoula’s homeless will help service providers and volunteers better serve this communities needs.