Social Support Provision and related Facilitators and Barriers in a Community Kitchen
Mayer, Kala A.
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A community kitchen (CK) is a group of people who come together to obtain, prepare, eat, and distribute food. Community kitchens operate in Canadian, Australian, and Peruvian communities. This is one of the first known studies of community kitchens as they exist in the United States. This dissertation describes facilitators and barriers to food security and health in a community kitchen project. Specifically, this dissertation has two aims: (a) To identify and describe the types of social support provision that occurred within the Family Community Kitchen Project, and (b) To identify and describe facilitators and barriers to social support provision in the Family CK Project. This case study is the first CK study to focus specifically on understanding social support provision and facilitators and barriers of social support provision within a community kitchen. New thematic findings that enhance the current CK literature to date were found in all four social support provision categories: informational, appraisal, emotional, and tangible support. In addition, new thematic findings for facilitators and barriers of social support provision in a community kitchen were organized into four categories: social-structural conditions, project structure, group structure, and group dynamics and relationship characteristics. Themes emerged from an ethnographic analysis of field notes, focus group transcripts, project documents and questionnaires. Categorical findings and major themes provide a structure from which further exploration of CK facilitators and barriers to social support provision for food security and health can begin. A major contribution to the CK literature is the thematic finding of `facilitation' as a particularly strong facilitator to social support provision in the Family CK Project. The leader played a major role in the CK's success; without it, there would have been multiple barriers to success. Recommendations for continued community kitchen development include further exploration of community kitchens started by and for community members. It is within these initiatives that we might continue to find new and effective strategies that are value-congruent. Formal recognition and distribution of effective community strategies for food security and health can serve to advance and sustain these initiatives and develop a public health practice that highlights the voices of those they aim to serve. Nurses have played a critical role in the expansion of both Canadian and United States' community kitchens by forging partnerships with community kitchen support organizations and serving as advocates for local groups and community health needs in the institutions in which they work. The Family Community Kitchen Project, in structure, activities, and leadership involved, facilitated the reciprocal distribution of social support between participants. The multiple types of emotional, tangible, informational and appraisal support provision were useful to further food security and health. This study contributed significantly to the CK literature on the social and leadership aspects of CKs in local contexts.
- Nursing - Seattle