Homelessness is a complex, multi-faceted and serious public health issue. Women and children are the fastest growing homeless population. Being a homeless family has implications on proper nutrition and the ability to develop consistent and positive relationships between parents and children. Maintenance of solid family relationships is a protective factor to protect parents, children, and families from the detrimental effects of homelessness. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the Good Eating/Good Reading Program, newly designed by the Penn Literacy Network and offered to mothers and their children living in a transitional housing facility. The study utilized a mixed-methods design. Participants completed a pre-test survey prior to the start of the program and a post-test survey immediately after the last class in the program. Survey data were analyzed through SPSS using paired t tests and descriptive statistics. Field observation and participants conversations supplemented the survey data. The conversations and field data collected during coaching sessions were analyzed in three steps: 1) Collection of themes 2) Detailed examination of themes 3) Validation of themes. A total of 13 mothers participated in the program. Ages of participants ranged from 20-48 years. The results showed that at baseline (90.7%) of the women reported feeling comfortable reading with their child; at endpoint, 92.3% reported feeling comfortable. At baseline 87% of the participants reported that their meals included family meals that contained a fruit, vegetable, meat and a starch; the endpoint score was 93%. The mothers increased their nutritional literacy by 13% during the course of the program. After the completion of the program, mothers’ responses indicated that the Good Eating and Good Reading positively impacted the nutrition-literacy outcomes for mothers by increasing the parent-child and sibling-sibling relationship and bonding.
Qamar, Huma, "Good Eating/Good Reading: A Pilot Program by The Penn Literacy Network to Evaluate the Health Literacy of Homeless Mothers Living in Shelters" (2016). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 199.