Pennsylvania Healthy Pantry Initiative

The Pennsylvania Healthy Pantry Initiative (PA HPI) is a PSE change intervention designed to increase access to healthy food and promote healthy food choices within the food pantry. PA HPI provides resources to implement strategies included in the pantry assessment. The strategies are divided into five categories: inventory, environment and healthy nudges, health promotion and marketing, nutrition policies and guidelines and services, resources and training. Nutrition educators collaborate with food pantry staff and volunteers, as well as food bank staff to assess, plan and implement strategies according to the needs and capacity of the pantry. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating 

Intervention Type: PSE Change 

Steps to Health’s Nuts and Bolts of a Healthy Food Pantry

The Nuts and Bolts of a Health Food Pantry Toolkit is a direct education and PSE change intervention that is designed to support pantries in improving the food environment so their clients can choose healthy food and beverage items. The components of the Toolkit include a resource guide, baseline and follow-up assessments to explore opportunities for PSE, training modules for food pantry staff and volunteers, action planning tools for sustaining PSE changes, and promotional materials, such as signage and “nudge” cards to influence healthy choices. The Toolkit equips partners to share best practices when collaborating with food pantries.  

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance  

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change 

Healthy Drinks for Toddlers

Healthy Drinks for Toddlers is a social marketing intervention designed for caregivers of young children to discourage provision of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) and encourage water consumption. The 45-second videos counter fruit drink and toddler milk marketing messages, inform caregivers about why these drinks are not recommended for young children and include a specific message to parents to “keep it simple, keep it real” by serving water and plain milk to their toddlers once weaned from breastmilk/infant formula. These materials provide SNAP households with young children accurate information about the best drinks to serve during their child’s transition from breastmilk/infant formula to regular table food, a critical time in development of healthy eating habits. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating 

Intervention Type: Social Marketing 

PowerUp Your School

PowerUp Your School (PowerUp) is an evidence-based physical activity program aligned with academic standards and social-emotional learning skills. As a direct education program, PowerUp helps youth meet national physical activity guidelines by engaging K-8th grade participants in 30 minutes of physical activity, a minimum of two times per week, in before and after school settings. Every PowerUp lesson is aligned with national Math and English Language Arts academic standards to engage students in active learning. Designed to minimize barriers to physical activity, PowerUp does not require any equipment and can be successfully implemented in a variety of spaces including gymnasiums, cafeterias, classrooms, hallways, common spaces, or outdoors. 

Target Behavior: Physical Activity and Reduced Screen Time 

Intervention Type: Direct Education

Growing Healthy Kids: Garden-Enhanced Nutrition Curriculum

Growing Healthy Kids (GHK) is a garden-themed, direct education curriculum aimed to integrate nutrition education with gardening to promote healthy eating and healthy choices among children, best aligned for students in 2nd and 3rd grade. GHK teaches nutrition education concepts closely aligned with MyPlate messages suitable for a SNAP-Ed audience and includes seven lessons with options for an outdoor, indoor, or hybrid (combination of activities from both mural and indoor gardens) garden, giving students opportunities to learn basic plant parts and try a variety of fruits and vegetables. Along with core journaling and gardening activities, lessons include food tasting activities, recipe printouts, physical activity options, coloring sheets, and suggestions for supplemental storybooks to go with lesson themes. Many connections to the Food Hero social marketing campaign exist within the curriculum. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating 

Intervention Type: Direct Education 

Around the Table

Around the Table is a direct education intervention for youth that upholds principles of trauma-informed engagement and nourishment. It is designed to improve cooking skills, food safety, food resource management, and healthy eating, as well as increase awareness surrounding stress, emotional eating, health values, and feeding children. Participants enjoy hands-on cooking, facilitated conversations, and interactive activities that build healthy connections to food, self, and community.  

Additionally, Around the Table: Nourishing Families is for young adults and parents. It is a curriculum that upholds principles of trauma-informed engagement and nourishment where participants enjoy conversation, reflection, cooking, sharing a meal together, and learning holistic skills to care for their families’ nutritional well-being.  

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating  
Intervention Type: Direct Education 

Telephonic Health Coaching Intervention (THC) Toolkit

The Telephonic Health Coaching Intervention (THC) Toolkit is a direct education intervention designed to:

  • Increase frequency of eating all five food groups
  • Increase frequency of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables
  • Increase whole fruit consumption by at least half a cup per day
  • Increase vegetable consumption by at least half a cup per day
  • Increase frequency of intake of fat-free or low-fat dairy including (dairy/nondairy) and yogurt, and decrease frequency of intake of full fat dairy (milk/yogurt)
  • Increase frequency of whole grains and decrease consumption of refined grains
  • Increase frequency of lean proteins and decrease frequency of high fat proteins
  • Decrease sugar-sweetened beverage intake
  • Increase frequency of low sodium foods
  • Increase minutes of daily physical activity

In order to achieve these goals, the THC intervention provides material to train SNAP-Ed educators to be health coaches that engage with clients by telephone and use behavior change techniques to craft individual goals related to healthy eating and physical activity. The increased intensity, duration and personalization of the THC intervention improve the likelihood that persons eligible for SNAP will make healthy food choices and choose physically active lifestyles consistent with the current USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time

Intervention Type: Direct Education

The State Nutrition Action Council: Farmers Market Initiative

The State Nutrition Action Council: Farmers Market Initiative (SNAC) is policy, systems, and environmental change intervention designed to:

  • Increase knowledge of Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) programs available at farmers markets.
  • Increase knowledge of locally grown fruits and vegetables and how to use, cook, and store them.
  • Increase the use of Market Match and CalFresh redemption vouchers to support low-income shoppers in maximizing their purchasing power.
  • Increase state and local partnerships of FNS funded programs to support a welcoming market environment that accepts multiple FNS food benefits. 

In 2018, SNAC focused on increasing low-income shoppers’ utilization of their food and nutrition program benefits at local Farmers Markets, and in 2019, SNAC expanded its Farmers Market Initiative (FMI) into additional counties and markets, as well as added an on-site navigator component. The navigator model was tested at three markets, and the CalFresh Healthy Living (CFHL) Navigators were found to address barriers to shopping at farmers markets, including lack of knowledge and comfort using food assistance benefits. CFHL Navigators provided support to shoppers by distributing materials, promoting accepted FNS benefits, providing information on how to use FNS benefits, explaining Market Match, and providing interactive nutrition and health education activities on-site at the market for six consecutive weeks. The FMI has continued to expand into new counties in California since 2019 and increases in food benefit redemptions at FMI markets has sustained. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance

Intervention Type: PSE Change

Text2LiveHealthy

The Text2LiveHealthy (T2LH) intervention is a direct education and social marketing intervention designed to increase family consumption of fruits and vegetables, increase physical activity among the entire family, and increase family consumption of water while decreasing consumption of sugary beverages. T2LH is a nutrition and physical activity digital health outreach effort that links the Integrated Nutrition Education Program (INEP) and Culture of Wellness in Preschools (COWP) youth education provided in classrooms to homes via text messaging, in order to influence behavior change for economically disadvantaged families across Colorado. There are four text message cycles in Year 1 with each cycle containing approximately 30 core texts that address the following themes: fruit and vegetable consumption, physical activity and sedentary behaviors, sugar-sweetened beverages, and water consumption. Each cycle contains approximately seven to eight core messages and two to three evaluation messages. In general, the messages are easy to use and include goal-setting for healthy behavior change, fun and easy recipes, family-friendly physical activity ideas, motivational messages, and links to resources. In Year 2, participants receive one text per week with a focus on maintaining behavior changes. In Year 3, participants receive weekly messages that focus on mindful eating, stress reduction and living an active lifestyle. In addition to the intervention messages, participants receive thematic messages based on the time of year as well as local messages for resources, for example farmer’s markets and Double Up Food Bucks and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Reducing Screen Time, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance  
Intervention Type: Direct Education, Social Marketing 

Food Smarts

Food Smarts is a direct education intervention that is designed to support healthy behavior change in the areas of healthy eating, food safety, cooking, food waste reduction and food resource management. In 2022, Leah’s Pantry released an updated version of Food Smarts that incorporates principles of trauma-informed nutrition.  Food Smarts is a flexible, learner-centered, multi-session nutrition and cooking program with several available lesson plans to fit the needs of a variety of settings. A kitchen is not required for the implementation of the intervention, but participants can be engaged in simple recipe preparation as an instructional strategy. The adult curriculum of Food Smarts is available in English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean. The youth curriculum is available in English.  

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating  
Intervention Type: Direct Education