To enhance access to healthier foods, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently proposed new stocking standards for stores eligible to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. It is unknown how many stores are currently in compliance with the proposed enhanced retailer standards; what support rural stores need to successfully stock and engage families in purchasing and consuming the newly stocked healthier items; and how the standards will impact child dietary intake. This quasi-experimental, multi-level community-based research trial will focus on small retail food outlets in low-income, Appalachian counties in Tennessee and consist of three intervention arms: 1) using storeowner-focused strategies (S-only) to increase access to healthier food; 2) using storeowner and family-focused strategies (S+F) to increase access to and demand for healthier items; and 3) a delayed-intervention comparison. The aims of the study are to: 1) assess compliance of SNAP-eligible stores with the proposed SNAP enhance retailer standards in low-income, Appalachian counties in Tennessee; 2) determine the impact of S-only and S+F intervention strategies compares to delayed-intervention on: a) achieving and sustaining stocking levels that meet the SNAP enhanced retailer standards; b) sales of healthier items; c) parental perceptions of community and home food availability; and d) child dietary intake; and 3) determine the most cost-effective intervention (S-only or S+F) to help storeowners stock and sell healthier items.
Testing Strategies to Reduce Obesity by Increasing Access to and Demand for Affordable, Healthier Food in Retail Groceries in Rural Appalachia
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
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