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    Frost, C. J. Pelham-Burn, S. E. Russell, J. M. and Barker, M. E. 2016. Improving the Nutritional Quality of Charitable Meals for Homeless and Vulnerable Adults: A Mixed Method Study of Two Meals Services in a Large English City. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, Vol. 11, Issue. 1, p. 14.


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    Pelham-Burn, Sophie E. Frost, Catherine J. Russell, Jean M. and Barker, Margo E. 2014. Improving the nutritional quality of charitable meals for homeless and vulnerable adults. A case study of food provision by a food aid organisation in the UK. Appetite, Vol. 82, p. 131.


    Campbell, Elizabeth Catherine Ross, Michelle and Webb, Karen L. 2013. Improving the Nutritional Quality of Emergency Food: A Study of Food Bank Organizational Culture, Capacity, and Practices. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, Vol. 8, Issue. 3, p. 261.


    Freedman, Marjorie R. and Bartoli, Catherine 2013. Food Intake Patterns and Plate Waste Among Community Meal Center Guests Show Room for Improvement. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, Vol. 8, Issue. 4, p. 506.


    Lyles, Courtney R. Drago-Ferguson, Soledad Lopez, Andrea and Seligman, Hilary K. 2013. Nutritional Assessment of Free Meal Programs in San Francisco. Preventing Chronic Disease, Vol. 10,


    Sisson, Lisa G. and Lown, Deborah A. 2011. Do Soup Kitchen Meals Contribute to Suboptimal Nutrient Intake & Obesity in the Homeless Population?. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, Vol. 6, Issue. 3, p. 312.


    Tarasuk, Valerie Dachner, Naomi Poland, Blake and Gaetz, Stephen 2009. Food deprivation is integral to the ‘hand to mouth’ existence of homeless youths in Toronto. Public Health Nutrition, Vol. 12, Issue. 09, p. 1437.


    Tarasuk, Valerie and Dachner, Naomi 2009. The Proliferation of Charitable Meal Programs in Toronto. Canadian Public Policy, Vol. 35, Issue. 4, p. 433.


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Nutritional assessment of charitable meal programmes serving homeless people in Toronto

  • Carmen Tse (a1) and Valerie Tarasuk (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1368980008002577
  • Published online: 01 December 2008
Abstract
AbstractObjectives

To assess the potential nutritional contribution of meals provided in a sample of community programmes for homeless individuals, to determine the effect of food donations on meal quality and to develop food-based guidance for meals that would meet adults’ total nutrient needs.

Setting

Toronto, Canada.

Design

An analysis of weighed meal records from eighteen programmes. The energy and nutrient contents of meals were compared to requirement estimates to assess contribution to total needs, given that homeless people have limited access to nutritious foods. Mixed linear modelling was applied to determine the relationship between the use of food donations and meal quality. The composition of meals that would meet adults’ nutrient requirements was determined by constructing simulated meals, drawing on the selection of foods available to programmes.

Sample

In all, seventy meals, sampled from eighteen programmes serving homeless individuals.

Results

On average, the meals contained 2·6 servings of grain products, 1·7 servings of meat and alternatives, 4·1 servings of vegetables and fruits and 0·4 servings of milk products. The energy and nutrient contents of most meals were below adults’ average daily requirements. Most meals included both purchased and donated foods; the vitamin C content of meals was positively associated with the percentage of energy from donations. Increasing portion sizes improved the nutrient contribution of meals, but the provision of more milk products and fruits and vegetables was required to meet adults’ nutrient requirements.

Conclusions

The meals assessed were inadequate to meet adults’ nutrient requirements. Improving the nutritional quality of meals requires additional resources.

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Copyright
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*Corresponding author: Email valerie.tarasuk@utoronto.ca
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