Evaluation of Universal Free School Meals

The purpose of this study is to compare the impact of continuing Universal Free School Meals (UFSM) in Maine and California with the impact of de-implementing UFSM in control states during the 2022-23 school year. Specific aims are to examine: (1) school meal participation rates using administrative claims data from 20 states; and (2) household More

Evaluating the Impact of a Healthier Checkout Program on Food Sales at a Regional Convenience Retail Chain

Healthy retail strategies implemented in convenience stores have shown to have promising impact on healthy food purchasing and healthy diets. However, additional evidence on specific strategies to promote healthful food purchasing inconvenience stores is needed. One such strategy is creating “healthy check-outs” in small stores. The goal of this project is to implement and rigorously More

A Supermarket Double-Dollar Incentive Program Increases Purchases of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Among Low Income Families With Children: The Healthy Double Study

This pilot study was conducted to determine whether a supermarket double-dollar fruit and vegetable (F&V) incentive increases F&V purchases among low-income families. The study was carried out in a supermarket in a low-income rural Maine community. The participants were low-income and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) supermarket customers. The participants received a same-day coupon at More

Investigating How to Align Schools’ Marketing Environments With Federal Standards for Competitive Foods

The goal of this study was to determine how to improve school marketing environments so that they align with new federal competitive food standards. The research team assessed the food marketing environments in three schools in Portland, Maine, using the food and beverage marketing in schools (FMBS) survey, and provided schools with technical assistance to More

Testing the Effectiveness of a Double-Dollar Incentive Program to Increase Purchases of Fruits and Vegetables

Currently there is much interest in incentivizing the purchase of healthier food items among lower-income populations. The purpose of this project is to pilot test a double-dollar incentive program traditionally used at farmers’ markets to increase purchases of fresh, frozen, and canned fruits and vegetables in a large grocery store retail setting (Hannaford). Approximately 400 More

Influence of Competitive Food and Beverage Policies on Children’s Diets and Childhood Obesity. A Research Review

Competitive foods are foods and beverages that compete with school meal programs. They are sold through vending machines, a la carte cafeteria lines, school stores and other venues. Given that the foods and beverages available in schools have a significant impact on children’s diets and their weight, it is important to understand how competitive foods More

How Does the Rural Food Environment Affect Rural Childhood Obesity?

This paper examines the association between the rural food environment and rural lower-income children’s food consumption and obesity rates in six rural towns in Maine. Researchers found few significant relationships between the community food environment and the home food environment. A marginally significant relationship was found between the distance parents traveled to shop and the More