An Epidemiological Pilot Project Based On Poverty-Stricken Native Hawaiian Foodbank

Submitted By: Monica Magallanes RN MSN

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, food is the most basic human need; right next to oxygen. Disadvantaged people may not be afforded this most basic need due to poverty. The link between poverty and poor health is absolutely linked ( ). Native Hawaiians in poverty are at an even higher risk for poor health due to known health issues faced by their culture. The United States Census Bureau 2009-2013 reports Wai’anae, a city in Hawaii, as having a higher percentage of persons living below poverty and of persons identifying with being Native Hawaiian than the overall state ). The Hawaii Foodbank aids poverty-stricken Native Hawaiians in Wai’anae through weekly food distributions. The traditional Hawaiian diet is rich in produce, but many Native Hawaiian foodbank recipients are unknowledgeable of and not taking the fresh produce. This creates missed opportunities to decrease the incidence and prevalence of health issues challenging poverty-stricken Native Hawaiians as they are highly influenced by diet, such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. This pilot proposal is for a culturally sensitive educational program using Leininger’s Culture Care Theory to increase awareness, knowledge, and acceptance of produce foreign to Native Hawaiians and of healthier food preparation using the Traditional Hawaiian Diet as a modifiable guide.

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