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S.O.U.L. Food Project: West Harlem (dissertation)

This morning I started doing some research for my doctoral work on vegan foodways and black folks’ health. I couldn’t find much, but did run acorss the S.O.U.L. Food project in West Harlem which looks quite interesting.  I wish I could get access to this dissertation work. Below is the abstract from the dissertation database.  If anyone has anymore information about this or how to contact Ari Garber, please let me know! I need this dissertation for my studies.



The S.O.U.L Food Project: Facts and findings from a program that sought to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and improve cooking habits in West Harlem

by Garber, Ari Benjamin, Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University, 2007 , 189 pages; AAT 3269066

Abstract (Summary)

Objectives. The S.O.U.L Food Project sought to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and improve cooking and food preparation practices among members of the Community Kitchen of West Harlem, a soup kitchen serving meals and offering assistance to New York City’s most impoverished.

Methods. The S.O.U.L Food Project used a multifaceted quasi-experimental research design. Over a seven-month period, in addition to usual services provided by the Community Kitchen of West Harlem, participants in the Farm Fresh (experimental) group received 201bs of produce each week, recipes outlining how to cook the foods received, cooking demonstrations, and nutrition education. Members of the control group received usual services from the Community Kitchen of West Harlem. The primary aim of the study was to determine whether affordable access to organic fruits and vegetables in conjunction with cooking demonstrations, recipes, and nutrition information increased fruit and vegetable consumption. The secondary aims of the study were to determine whether the intervention decreased BMI and or improved cooking habits among study participants.

Results. Post-intervention, mean daily vegetable consumption increased by 0.9 servings/day in the intervention group (a net effect of 1.43 servings) (between-subject effect: F = 9.2, p = .004; within-in subject interaction: 4.1, p = .048). The intervention group also significantly decreased restaurant consumption from baseline by 1 time/week (between-subject effect: F = 3.4, p = .071; within-in subject interaction: 4.2, p = .046). Significant changes in other cooking and food preparation practices were not observed.

Conclusions. Thus, we found that increasing vegetable consumption (primary study aim) and decreasing restaurant food intake (secondary study aim) in low-income settings can be achieved. Nevertheless, particular attention needs to be paid to the barriers that hinder adequate consumption. Additional feasibility studies need to determine whether changing cooking practices in low-income populations would increase vegetable consumption.



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