The purpose of this mixed-method evaluation is to complete a series of case studies in five cities to identify best practices, barriers, recommendations, and other considerations for healthy vending policies and initiatives affecting children and youth. Vending machines that are accessible to children and adolescents will be the focus of this evaluation. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with multiple stakeholders from each site which will focus on facilitators and barriers to implementing and evaluating healthy vending policies. The interviews will gather information on recommended policy language or evaluation methods that should be included in future healthy vending policies. During site visits, observations of vending machine content and the general food environment using an adapted version of the NEMS-V (food and drinks available, placement and promotion of healthier items, compliance with healthy vending policy) will be conducted, as well as people purchasing food and drinks from the vending machines. Additionally, short intercept surveys will be conducted with adults using the vending machines to assess reactions to the products available in the vending machines and to ask about purchases. Finally, sales data will be used when available to understand purchases, trend, and impact on businesses.
Evaluating Healthy Vending Policies Affecting Youth in Five Cities
Vending machines are a common source for low nutrient, energy-dense snacks and beverages and youth can easily access vending machines at many public spaces such as parks, recreation centers, and swimming pools. Many cities are beginning to adopt healthy vending policies in public areas, but evidence regarding best practices for developing, … More
The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store as well as by store type. Some communities have limited access to stores that carry healthful staple foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich foods, and … More
Evaluation of the USDA FINI Program Finds Benefits for Consumers, Farmers and Retailers, and Local Economies
In December 2018, Congress passed a new farm bill which included a reauthorization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program. This brief summarizes the findings of a recent qualitative evaluation of FINI, which concludes that the program has benefits for consumers, farmers and … More