Research: research and professional briefs| Volume 104, ISSUE 8, P1284-1286, August 2004

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Study finds Chapel Hill, NC, soup kitchen serves nutritious meals


      Soup kitchens attempt to improve the food security of low-income individuals, but the results of their efforts are rarely researched. We focused our study on the Inter-Faith Council Soup Kitchen (IFC) near the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC) in Chapel Hill, NC. The IFC uses no centralized nutrition planning and relies heavily on volunteer cooks, yet we found their meals to be highly nutrient-dense when averaged over a 1-month time frame and compared with the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) and the Daily Reference Values (DRVs). In fact, the only nutrients needing improvement were vitamin D, folate, and calcium. The number of servings per meal was also substantially more than one third of the US Department of Agriculture Food Guide Pyramid recommendations, except for dairy at all meals, vegetables at breakfast, and fruit at dinner.
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      S. Eppich is the supervisor of WIC/First Steps, Columbia Valley Community Health, Wenatchee, WA; at the time of the study, she was a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


      C. P. Fernandez is a public health leadership fellowship director, North Carolina Institute for Public Health, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.