Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2018

Thesis Advisor(s)

Hedley Freake; Michael Puglisi

Honors Major

Nutritional Sciences


International and Community Nutrition


For the past two years, this author has been the program director for a volunteer group called Food Recovery. Food Recovery collaborates with UConn Dining Services to collect unsold food items from UC Cafes on campus, and donates them to the Covenant Soup Kitchen in Willimantic, CT. The majority of the donations provided by Food Recovery are pre-packaged sandwiches and salads, that are made fresh daily by Dining Services staff and are sold in UC Cafes to the UConn community. The Covenant Soup Kitchen supports people experiencing food insecurity in Willimantic, by providing multiple hot meals throughout the week.

This thesis analyzes the nutritional content of the donated foods provided by Food Recovery and the nutritional content of typical food items made at Covenant Soup Kitchen. The the nutritional analysis calculated the micronutrient content of the food items, specifically the micronutrients that are therapeutic for hypertension control and prevention. According to the DASH diet eating plan for heart health, created by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium are micronutrients that can directly impact blood pressure. A decrease in sodium consumption can decrease blood pressure, whereas an increase in the other listed nutrients can have the same effect. By analyzing the ratio of sodium to potassium values food items, it was determined if the food items had the potential to decrease blood pressure and could help control or prevent hypertension.