Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Catherine Garner


Adult Type II diabetes is an increasing public health problem, particularly among very low-income minority populations. The purpose of this study was to create a nutritional guide for a diabetic specific meal plan with an accompanying food pantry nutrition packet for very low-income Type II diabetic patients at a rural Mississippi Free Clinic. The practice-focused question is: Will a nurse-prepared nutritional guide with supplemental food packets improve the glucose control in low income diabetic patients? The gap in practice is that there has been no structured nutrition education guide and no food pantry support plan for Type II adult diabetics. The theoretical framework is Cockerham's health lifestyle theory. A project goal was to prepare food packets specific to the Type II diabetic patients proved not viable due to limited donations of food resources, no regular source of fresh foods, and limited refrigeration space at the food pantry. However, education resources were developed for meal planning using the glycemic index, integration of cultural food preferences, and simple food log for the patient to chart daily meals. Recommendations include program evaluation of the use of these educational materials on patient A1c levels and weight in this population. The food pantry can offer diabetic specific meal packets with community social investment. Social change is addressing self-management of nutritional needs of very low income diabetic patients. Implication for nursing practice includes promotion of dialogue amongst different disciplines interested in the nutritional aspect of improving A1c and glucose levels.