Published: May 2021

Publisher: Virginia Tech

Authors: Kraak V, Consavage Stanley K, Harrigan PB, Serrano EL

See more related research

Share


The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic disrupted the food supply, distribution and services and led to major changes in the federal government’s safety-net programs. This paper synthesizes evidence for the literacy needs of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligible adults who receive benefits from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to purchase groceries in an online food retail ecosystem. We examined 40 literacy frameworks to develop a multi-dimensional, five-step, digital food and nutrition literacy model that included functional, interactive, communicative, critical and translational literacy. We used the model to review and evaluate 18 U.S. food and nutrition literacy studies. While adults with higher food or nutrition literacy scores had better cognitive, behavioral, food security or health status outcomes, there were no consistent findings across the studies. No frameworks examined digital literacy, three studies reported using a conceptual framework, and six studies examined SNAP or SNAP-Education (SNAP-Ed) outcomes. Future research should test this multi-dimensional food and nutrition literacy model, validate metrics to measure progress to achieve the outcomes, and develop dissemination tools tailored for SNAP participants. Diverse strategies could be implemented by U.S. government agencies, retailers, foundations and non-governmental organizations to strengthen digital literacy and the infrastructure for a healthy online food retail ecosystem.

Related Research

September 2022

Implementing SNAP During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspectives from the National Network of State SNAP Administrators

SNAP was a critical component of the COVID-19 pandemic response. The beginning of the pandemic saw the largest increase in applications in the program’s history, and the pandemic fundamentally altered how SNAP agencies deliver benefits, interact with participants, and provide supportive services. The goal of this research was to examine SNAP implementation during the first More

September 2022

State Implementation of SNAP Waivers and Flexibilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspectives From State Agency Leaders

This study aimed to describe state agencies’ implementation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, barriers and facilitators to SNAP implementation, and recommendations to improve SNAP implementation. This study was qualitative, using 7 semistructured, virtual focus groups in April 2021 with state-level SNAP administrators and supportive services More

September 2022

Simplification of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Recertification Processes and Association With Uninterrupted Access to Benefits Among Participants With Young Children

In the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), families may temporarily lose benefits for which they are still eligible because of administrative issues. This lapse in benefits, referred to as churning, increases the risk of food insecurity for families, which is linked with poorer health. This study examined the rate of churning among SNAP participants with More