Nutritional quality and feasibility of meals provided by a canteen for the poor: the 60-year experience of the “Opera di San Francesco” in Milan, Italy

Main Article Content

Claudio Maioli
Fulvio Muzio
Federico Cioni
Marisa Porrini
Giuditta Maioli
Patrizia Riso

Keywords

canteen for the poor, menu, nutrition, homeless people, feasibility

Abstract

The rapid increase in the number of vulnerable people who depends on meals provided by the canteens for the poor all over the world suggests the importance to provide adequate menus 
Objectives
: to present a dining experience for the poor and/or homeless in Milan by analyzing:


1) the general characteristics of the canteen users


2) the nutritional composition of the meals with the aim of highlighting possible nutritional deficiencies


3) the feasibility aspects associated to the menu development and management
Setting: Canteen for the poor “Opera di San Francesco” Milan, Italy
Methods: A qualitative and quantitative analysis of the cost, type of foods and nutrients composition of the overall meals provided (736.352) was made and data compared with the reference values ​​for the adult Italian population (LARN 2014). The canteen distributes about 2,336 meals a day, 6 days a week from Monday to Saturday. The menus analysed were those of the winter (7 months, from 01/01 to 30/4 and from 01/10 to 31/12) and summer (5 months, from 1/5 to 30/09) seasons. The total number of meals in the period 2017-2020 was also considered.
Results: On average, the winter menu provided 2039 Kcal as a mean (15% proteins, 29% lipids, 56% carbohydrates) while the summer menu provided 2146 Kcal (15% proteins, 28% lipids, 57% carbohydrates). The total number of meals provided remained constant in the period 2017-2020 despite the sanitary situation.
Discussion: Overall, energy intake and macronutrients composition of both the summer and the winter menus were in line with recommendations. However, calcium, vitamin D, folate, vitamin B2, B6, B12 and zinc requirements were not satisfied due to the scarcity of foods such as milk and dairy products but also fish and vegetables while the salt content was high with respect to recommendations.

Abstract 242 | PDF Downloads 299

References

1. Carmen Tse and Valerie Tarasuk . Nutritional assessment of charitable meal programmes serving homeless people in Toronto. Public Health Nutrition 2008: 11(12),1296-1305
2. Bunston T & Breton M. (1990). The eating patterns and problems of homeless women. Women Health 16,43-62
3. Breton M.& Bunston T (1995). Physical and sexual violence in the lives of homeless women. Can.J.Commun. Ment.Health 11,29-44
4. Dachner N & Tarasuk V (2002). Homeless “squeegee kids”: food insecurity and daily survival. Soc.Sci.Med.54, 1039-1049
5. McCarthy B & Hagan J (1992). Surviving on the street. The experience of homeless youth. J.Adolesc.Res.7,412-430
6. Tarasuk V. & Woolcott L (1994). Food acquisition practices of homeless adults: insights from a health promotion project. J.Can.Diet.Assoc. 55,15-19
7. Tarasuk V, Dachner N. & Li J. (2005). Homeless youth in Toronto are nutritionally vulnerable. J.Nutr. 135, 1926-1933
8. Sophie E. Pelham-Burn, Catherine J. Frost, Jean M. Russell, Margo E.Baker (2014). Improving the nutritional quality of charitable meals for homeless and vulnerable adults. A case study of food provision by a food aid organization in the UK. Appetite 82(2014) 131-137
9. Christine Buttorff, Antonio J.Trujillo, Francisco Diez-Canseco, Antonio Bernabe-Ortiz, J. Jaime Miranda Evaluation consumer preferences for healthy eating from Community kitchens in low-income urban areas: a discrete choice experiment of Comedores Populares in Peru . Social Science&Medicine 140(2015) 1-8
10. Kristina Langnase and Manfred J. Muller. Nutrition and health in an adult urban homeless population in Germany. Public Health Nutrition 2000, 4(3), 805-811
11. Valerie Tarasuk, Naomi Dachner, and Jinguang Li. Homeless youth in Toronto are nutritionally vulnerable. The journal of nutrition 2005. 135: 1926-1933
12. Souci, Fachmann, Kraut. Tabelle complete degli alimenti 2009. Editrice Mattioli 1885 spa
13. The nutrition of the nephropathic patient: what "bubbles" in pot?
Maioli, Claudio, Muzio, Fulvio, Cozzolino, Mario, Progress in nutrition 2015, Volume: 17 Issue: 2 Pages: 174-177

Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>