Health Behaviors Tobacco Use Diet & Exercise Alcohol & Drug Use Sexual Activity Search Policies & Programs

hints
Display All Policies & Programs

Community kitchens for nutrition education

Health Factors: Diet & Exercise
Decision Makers: Employers & Businesses Local Government State Government Nonprofit Leaders
Evidence Rating: Insufficient Evidence
Population Reach: 10-19% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

Is this program or policy in use in your community? Tell us about it.

Description

Community kitchens are spaces where community members share knowledge, resources, and labor to prepare, cook, and consume food. Community kitchens often focus on nutrition education and food skills for low income participants experiencing food insecurity (Iacovou 2013). Such programs frequently use existing spaces that are not licensed or set up for entrepreneurial activities or commercial food processing.

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased healthy food consumption
Increased food security
Improved social skills

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is insufficient evidence to determine whether community kitchens that offer nutrition education and food skill programs improve the nutritional intake of participants and their families (Iacovou 2013). Participating in community kitchen programming has been associated with enhanced food skills, improved community food security, and improved social interactions (Iacovou 2013, Fridman 2013). A pilot study of a community kitchen-based nutrition and cooking instruction program for parents and children suggests increased enjoyment of cooking and decreased consumption of meals away from home (Robson 2016). Combining nutrition education with policies to improve food quality at homeless shelters and soup kitchens may help improve food choices and nutrition among participants who are homeless (Koh 2016). Additional evidence is needed to confirm effects. 

Implementation

United States

Community kitchens can be hosted by faith-based organizations, schools, community or senior centers, businesses, or non-profit groups (Kitchen commons 2013). Implementation varies by community. Community kitchens can also serve as a venue for the USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed), which supports nutrition education for individuals and families with low incomes (USDA-SNAP-Ed).

Implementation Resources

LHC-Rockeymoore 2014 - Rockeymoore M, Moscetti C, Fountain A. Rural Childhood Obesity Prevention Toolkit. Leadership for Healthy Communities (LHC), Center for Global Policy Solutions, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 2014. Accessed on February 22, 2018
Lowitt 2011 - Lowitt K. Community kitchen best practices toolkit: A guide for community organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador. Saint John's, NL: Food Security Network of Newfoundland and Labrador (FSN); 2011. Accessed on December 15, 2017
SRHD-Toolkit 2012 - Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD). Community kitchen toolkit: A guide for community organizations in Spokane, Washington. Spokane: Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD), Neighborhoods Matter; 2012. Accessed on December 15, 2017

Citations - Description

Iacovou 2013* - Iacovou M, Pattieson DC, Truby H, Palermo C. Social health and nutrition impacts of community kitchens: A systematic review. Public Health Nutrition. 2013;16(3):535–43. Accessed on December 15, 2017

Citations - Evidence

Fridman 2013* - Fridman J, Lenters L. Kitchen as food hub: Adaptive food systems governance in the city of Toronto. Local Environment. 2013;18(5):543–56. Accessed on December 15, 2017
Iacovou 2013* - Iacovou M, Pattieson DC, Truby H, Palermo C. Social health and nutrition impacts of community kitchens: A systematic review. Public Health Nutrition. 2013;16(3):535–43. Accessed on December 15, 2017
Koh 2016 - Koh KA, Bharel M, Henderson DC. Nutrition for homeless populations: Shelters and soup kitchens as opportunities for intervention. Public Health Nutrition. 2016;19(7):1312-1314. Accessed on January 10, 2018
Robson 2016* - Robson SM, Stough CO, Stark LJ. The impact of a pilot cooking intervention for parent-child dyads on the consumption of foods prepared away from home. Appetite. 2016;99:177-184. Accessed on January 10, 2018

Citations - Implementation

Kitchen commons 2013 - Kitchen Commons. Community kitchen resource guide: How to access, use, and host community kitchens. Portland: Kitchen Commons; 2013. Accessed on December 15, 2017
USDA-SNAP-Ed - US Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). SNAP-Ed. Accessed on December 15, 2017

Page Last Updated

January 10, 2018

* Journal subscription may be required for access.