EatFresh

Leah’s Pantry and the San Francisco Human Services Agency

Overview

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

Intervention Reach and Adoption

EatFresh.org targets low-income, underserved populations in California eligible for SNAP (Calfresh). The website is appropriate for youth, teens, adults, and seniors. EatFresh.org has an average of about 10,000 unique visitors per month and has been integrated into existing programs and processes in over 300 organizations throughout California.

Setting: Child care, Community, Faith-based community, Health care, Retail, School, Worksite

Target Audience: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Pregnant/Breastfeeding Women, Parents/Mothers/Fathers, Adults, Older Adults, Homeless/Food Pantry Clients

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

EatFresh.org is a website that provides nutrition resources, recipes, and chronic disease prevention messaging to improve dietary knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among low-income, low-literacy populations. The website features over 400 healthy, budget-friendly recipes, a wide variety of healthy living and chronic disease prevention messaging pages, information about purchasing, preparing and storing different foods, Ask a Dietitian online, weekly email and text message tips, and local resources for California users.

The EatFresh.org Mini Course is available in English and Spanish. Topics include how to read a nutrition label, how to navigate the grocery store, plan meals, eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, reduce sugary beverages, manage portion sizes, and develop food resource management skills. Participants can earn up to three certificates of completion, which can be used by partner organizations to provide incentives or to simply track progress. Unique referral codes issued to each organization by Leah’s Pantry also offer a way to track participants’ usage of the Mini Course.

The Mini Course is also frequently used as a training and technical assistance tool for nutrition educators and peer health workers.  Five additional modules are available for nutrition educators and cover topics related to providing a learner-centered SNAP-Ed workshop for a variety of ages and settings.

Leah’s Pantry hosts information and resources for those interested in promoting EatFresh.org on its website: http://leahspantrysf.org/about-eatfresh/

Intervention Materials

Evidence Summary

A 2014 impact evaluation found that the EatFresh.org website was well received by its users and utilized (over 50,000 unique users had accessed the site since launch on October 1, 2013). Recipes were the most popular feature and there was a general increase in users’ nutrition-related knowledge and skills, like reading a nutrition label and avoiding foods with added sugar, salt, and fat. The Evidence report can be found here:

http://leahspantrysf.org/blog/2014/11/18/eatfreshorg-impact-evaluation-results

A 2016 pilot study of the EatFresh.org Mini Course (n=99) found statistically significant results among three indicators: knowledge for calculating sugar in drinks, recognizing fats in three similar dairy products, and recalling the number of sodium milligrams in a cup of carrots. Other significant findings included showing high confidence in using unit pricing while shopping, reading nutrition labels for sodium, fats, and fiber; a readiness for eating whole wheat tortillas, drinking reduced-fat milk, and eating brown rice; and using MyPlate food groups for a healthy breakfast. Overall, 83% of participants strongly agreed or agreed that they learned at least one new healthy message from each topic in the course.

Classification: Emerging

 

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST) Changes – Medium Term (MT) Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT) Population Results (R)
Individual ST1, ST2 MT1, MT2 LT1, LT2
Environmental Settings
Sectors of Influence MT12

Evaluation Materials

The effectiveness of EatFresh.org was evaluated by Weinreich Communications (funded by Aetna Foundation), specifically looking at:

  1. Website and social media usage tracking
  2. Website user satisfaction survey
  3. Key informant interviews
  4. Focus groups
  5. Knowledge, Attitude, and Behavior (KAB) survey

The EatFresh.org Mini Course pilot evaluation was analyzed by Dan Perales (Perales Associates Evaluation Services). The pre- and post-test questionnaires are used within the EatFresh.org Mini Course and are available for use by any organization promoting the Mini Course.  Through the use of referral codes (provided by Leah’s Pantry), Leah’s Pantry can share evaluation data for users of the course who identify with an organization’s referral code.  Evaluation data includes data required for federal SNAP-Ed reporting, as well as short-term indicators relating to confidence and intent to make healthy food and drink choices.

Additional Information

Website: EatFresh.org (http://eatfresh.org/) includes culturally-competent and budget-friendly recipes, meal plans, links to discover foods, Ask a Dietitian online, healthy lifestyle messaging pages, and local resources for California residents.

Information about EatFresh.org and resources can also be found on the Leah’s Pantry website at: http://leahspantrysf.org/about-eatfresh/

Contact Person(s):
Jessica Silldorff, MPH
Sr. Program Coordinator, EatFresh.org
Email: jessica@leahspantrysf.org
Phone: (858) 212-1992

General contact info for Leah’s Pantry:
Leah’s Pantry Main Office
3019 Mission St
San Francisco CA, 94110
Phone: (415) 429-3829
Email: info@leahspantrysf.org