Mommy and Me Nutrition: A curriculum for refugee women at the Mommy and Me Family Literacy Program Open Access

Hatfield, Katherine Ann (2015)

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Food insecurity is an issue that many refugees face when resettling in the United States. This can have detrimental consequences on the health of this population, particularly on young children, who need adequate nutrition for proper physical and cognitive development. In Clarkston, a small city in DeKalb County, Georgia, and home to a large population of refugees, food insecurity is a prevalent issue. The Mommy and Me Family Literacy Program (MMFLP), a program in Clarkston that is run through the organization Friends of Refugees, offers English literacy classes to refugee women and their children under the age of five. To address food insecurity and poor nutritional status among the students at this school, the program director would like to incorporate nutrition classes into the ESL curriculum. This special studies project focuses on the development of a culturally appropriate nutrition curriculum for MMFLP that will address healthy eating in the United States, along with safe and affordable access to nutritious food in Clarkston. The curriculum is guided by empowerment theory, with the goal of empowering refugee women to make healthy decisions for themselves and their families. It consists of eight 30-minute lessons; the first four take place in the fall semester and focus on dietary diversity, while the second four are delivered in the spring semester, focusing on access to healthy food and overcoming barriers. Five of the eight lessons were piloted during the 2014-2015 school year, each of which have been revised accordingly. After revisions, a final product was created based on input from the students, classroom observations, and suggestions from MMFLP staff, along with Emory public health faculty. Future directions for this curriculum include: piloting the remaining lessons, improving and implementing evaluation measures, and writing grants for additional funding. Additionally, collaboration with other organizations working in Clarkston is necessary in order to reach a larger population of resettling refugees.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction. 1

Problem Statement. 2

Purpose Statement. 2

Objectives. 3

Significance. 3

Chapter 2: Comprehensive Review of the Literature. 5

Food Insecurity. 5

Food Insecurity among U.S. Refugees. 7

English as a Second Language. 8

Empowerment Theory. 10

Project Relevance. 13

Chapter 3: Methods. 14

Formative Research. 14

IRB Approval. 15

Curriculum Development. 15

Curriculum Pilot-Testing. 16

Chapter 4: Results. 18

Curriculum. 18

Implementation. 20

Evaluation. 21

Chapter 5: Discussion. 22

Strengths and Limitations. 23

Recommendations. 25

Conclusion. 27

Bibliography. 28

Appendix A: Market Survey Guide. 31

Appendix B: Mommy and Me Nutrition Curriculum. 36

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