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

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.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance

Intervention Type: PSE Change

Cooking Matters for Healthcare Partners (CMHP)

Cooking Matters for Healthcare Partners (CMHP) is a direct education and policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change intervention designed to increase participant consumption of fruits and vegetables by 15% based on the pre-post program surveys, increase participant access to direct nutrition education, and link SNAP/WIC eligible individuals to preventative community health interventions. To achieve these goals, the program couples the evidence-based Cooking Matters for Adults (CMA) curriculum with produce distribution at the end of each class so that participants can practice their cooking skills at home. For six months after completing the CMA class, participants have monthly nutrition education sessions with clinic nutritionists and redeem their produce via voucher redemption at Fresh MARTA Markets. Overall, the program increases access to direct nutrition education and produce in locations where SNAP/WIC eligible individuals seek health services, in order to change participant behaviors relating to fruit and vegetable consumption and food resource management.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance, Other: Food Resource Management

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

Eat Smart to Play Hard

Eat Smart to Play Hard (ESPH) is a six-week social marketing campaign in which the community collaborates to engage students, parents, teachers, school staff, and other stakeholders in a common goal to “Eat Smart” in order to “Play Hard.” This obesity prevention campaign specifically focuses on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among 8-11 year-olds in both rural and urban schools. During the campaign, students receive an activity booklet “Fun Book” that guides them through healthy eating and physical activities at home with their families. They return their Fun Book to school each week to receive a stamp from their teacher for every completed activity in order to earn incentives and a medal.  ESPH coordinators hang promotional materials throughout the school and community to support the desired behavior. At the end of the six weeks, the campaign culminates in a fun day event where students and teachers celebrate their success while enjoying healthy eating and fun physical activity.

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

Intervention Type: Social Marketing, PSE Change

Project breakFAST (Fueling Academics and Strengthening Teens)

Project breakFAST is a Policy, Systems, and Environmental Change intervention designed to increase high school breakfast participation. In this intervention, a school breakfast team, made up of students, school food service, administration, teachers, and other key staff is formed to design and implement a grab-and-go breakfast outside the traditional cafeteria setting. School policies are changed to allow students to eat school breakfast in the hallways or classrooms. A student-led marketing campaign is conducted to encourage students to eat school breakfast. With the increased school breakfast participation, most schools are able to recoup start-up costs within one month and make a profit on school breakfast. Project breakFAST promotes healthier eating as high school students ate breakfast more often, ate more fruit servings, and did not have a change in overall calorie intake despite the increase in eating breakfast. Project breakFAST also addresses food insecurity as breakfast participation increased among low-income students and regular pay students. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance 

Intervention Type: PSE Change.

FNV

The FNV Campaign is a social marketing and PSE change intervention that aims to present fruits and vegetables in a way that is both fun and cool, ultimately shifting attitudes, behavior and social norms relative to healthy eating. The objectives of the FNV Campaign are to create positive attitudes toward fruits and vegetables and to drive increased consumption of fruits and vegetables in targeted communities amongst SNAP eligible audiences. Targeted at millennials, the FNV campaign uses humor and the power of celebrity to voluntarily shift consumer behavior toward healthier dietary choices. The campaign’s recommended approach includes surround sound marketing through billboards, retail, and transit media placements and in advertising buys on social and digital media, but it can be customized and tailored based on individual campaign needs.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Social Marketing, PSE Change

Farm to Early Care and Education

Farm to Early Care and Education (farm to ECE) is a PSE change intervention designed to increase access to healthy, local foods in ECE settings through local food purchasing and gardening; increase the quality of the ECE setting through food, nutrition, and agriculture

related experiential education; increase children’s acceptance and preference for healthy foods; increase children and family knowledge about healthy foods and local food systems; and  positively influence child, family, and provider health behaviors. Farm to ECE includes a set of activities and strategies that include 3 core elements of farm to school – local food purchasing, gardens, and food, nutrition, and agriculture education – implemented with the goal of enhancing the quality of the ECE environment and the educational experience in all types of ECE settings. As farm to ECE is not a “one size fits all” strategy, the core elements adapt readily to different settings, geographic locations, enrollment numbers, and diverse ages and abilities of children. Farm to ECE aims to advance racial and social equity by increasing access to healthy, local foods and high quality education opportunities for all children.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: PSE Change

Healthy Nutrition Guidelines for LA County

The Healthy Food Procurement Initiative in Los Angeles County is a PSE Change intervention designed to improve the nutrition standards of the county’s food service contracts.  In 2011, the County of Los Angeles (“County”) Board of Supervisors adopted Healthy Food Promotion in Los Angeles County Food Service Contracts, a motion aimed at County departmental food procurement policies and practices as they relate to nutrition. The motion established a process for the County’s Department of Public Health to develop nutrition standards and/or healthy food procurement practices in new and renewing Requests for Proposals (RFP) for food service and vending contracts across County departments.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: PSE Change

CookShop

CookShop is a core nutrition education program of Food Bank For New York City, providing low-income children and adults with the knowledge and tools to adopt and enjoy a healthy diet and active lifestyle on a limited budget. With hands-on workshops reaching thousands of New Yorkers across all five boroughs, CookShop teaches nutrition and physical activity information, as well as cooking skills, fostering enthusiasm for fresh, affordable fruits, vegetables and other whole foods.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE change

Food Hero

Food Hero is a multi-channel social marketing campaign designed to change family and community behaviors.  Food Hero includes an extensive evaluation process. The program is designed to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income Oregonians, and components of the campaign have been used widely in other states and countries. 

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change, Social Marketing

EatFresh

EatFresh.org is mobile-friendly website that was created for the SNAP-Ed population and the organizations that serve them. It provides practical resources and encouragement for individuals with varying levels of digital literacy, internet access, health awareness and culinary skills. EatFresh.org is a stand-alone indirect education resource, an extender for direct education interventions, and a useful tool for a variety of PSE strategies. Partners throughout California use EatFresh.org as a tool to direct their participants to healthy recipes during nutrition workshops, to look up preparation and storage tips for food received at food banks, and to apply for SNAP/Calfresh.  They promote the website by distributing recipe cards at health fairs and other indirect events, and refer clients to the EatFresh.org Mini Course as a flexible direct education resource. The EatFresh.org Mini Course is a free online direct education course that features 15 SNAP-Ed self-paced topics that can be completed in any order.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change