This paper presents the experiences and lessons learned from small food store interventions in four U.S. cities – Baltimore, Md.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Burlington, N.C.; and Philadelphia, Pa. Experiences from these four communities indicate that small store interventions face a variety of challenges that impact feasibility, acceptability, and long-term success. Particularly challenging issues included: understanding and accommodating the complex dynamic between program staff, store owners/managers, and customers; choosing appropriate interventions that met the needs of each community; balancing sustainability with the need for ongoing support; and identifying effective mechanisms for sharing successes and lessons learned. Lessons learned across seven thematic areas are discussed in detail. The authors conclude that while increasing access to healthy foods in small stores is viable, interventionists and researchers working in this area must focus as much effort on increasing customer demand for healthy products as they do on improving store supply of these products for such interventions to be successful.
Lessons Learned from Small Store Programs to Increase Healthy Food Access
Recent trends in food insecurity in the United States parallel population increases in obesity. Historically, food insecurity and obesity have been viewed as distinct public health issues. However, since the mid-1990s, there has been growing interest in understanding the seemingly paradoxical relationship between these two issues. In this paper, the … More
The Academic, Behavioral, and Health Influence of Summer Child Nutrition Programs: A Narrative Review and Proposed Research and Policy Agenda
Since 1975, the US Department of Agriculture has sponsored the Summer Food Service Program as a nationwide strategy for providing nutritious meals to children and youth (aged 18 years or younger) in low-income communities during the summer months. Many programs are sponsored by community organizations as well as school districts … 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