Michigan Harvest of the Month (MiHOTM)

Michigan Fitness Foundation

Overview

Michigan Harvest of the Month™ (HOTM) is a multi-level intervention designed to increase consumption of and access to fruits and vegetables; link child-focused nutrition education in schools with adult-focused supports in community-based food access settings; increase consumption of locally grown produce by connecting growers to their communities in school, child care, worksite, retail, farmers market, health care, and emergency food settings. HOTM features ready-to-go supplemental nutrition education materials that can easily be integrated into the core curriculum and are based on the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education, Social Marketing, PSE Change

Intervention Reach and Adoption

HOTM targets racially and ethnically diverse male and female students, parents, shoppers, and community members. HOTM is a community-wide initiative which includes schools, child care settings, worksites, large food stores/supermarkets, farmers markets, health care settings, and food banks and pantries. 

Setting: Child Care, School, Community, Worksite, Retail, Health Care

Age: Elementary School, Middle School, High School, Parents/Mothers/Fathers, Adults, Older Adults, Homeless/Food Pantry Clients

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

HOTM includes site-specific intervention resources with components tailored for the audience’s needs. Marketing, training, and technical assistance are coordinated and supported statewide by the Michigan Fitness Foundation. Trainees include teachers in Michigan Department of Education’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) schools who are implementing MiHOTM activities and utilizing its resources throughout classrooms and cafeterias in an effort to coordinate the delivery of FFVP snacks with nutrition education to increase fruit and vegetable intake among children.

Examples of HOTM materials used in school-based and point-of-access-based sites include:

School-Based:

  • Educator Newsletter for teachers/educators
  • Family Newsletter to reinforce messages with families at home
  • Botanical Image Worksheet for nutrition lesson
  • Nutrition Facts Panel Worksheet for nutrition lesson
  • Student Sleuth Answer Key for teachers/educators
  • Family Approved: Recipes from Michigan Harvest of the Month – 43 recipe cookbook featuring 21 different produce items to help families consume more fruits and vegetables
  • Standardized recipe cards with tear-off survey for tasting events with families
  • Menu slicks with fillable cafeteria menu section
  • Tailored pre-post surveys for students
  • Standardized retrospective survey for parents
  • Standardized electronic surveys for teachers
  • Standardized electronic surveys for child nutrition directors

Point-of-Access-Based:

  • Pop-up counter for tasting demonstrations
  • Banners featuring the “They Learn from Watching You” USDA core nutrition message
  • Standardized recipe cards with tear-off survey for tasting demonstrations
  • Poster featuring dates when demonstrations would occur in the future
  • Shelf tags
  • Freezer door clings
  • Signage with handout rack for displaying core message and take-away resources
  • Activity sheet featuring produce and MyPlate
  • Electronic shopper intercept survey

Intervention Materials

An online library of Michigan HOTM materials is currently under development. Currently available online are Arabic and Spanish-language materials, cafeteria menu slick template, and web access training. All other program materials are available electronically upon request.

Evidence Summary

Parents of children who participated in the Michigan HOTM intervention (vs. control group) reported their children were significantly more likely than children who did not receive the intervention to eat more fruits and vegetables, choose fruits as snacks, ask to buy fruits and vegetables in the grocery store, and prepare new recipes with vegetables.  Among teachers who responded to a survey about the use of Michigan HOTM materials, 78% said they would want to use them again, 70% found ease of material use to be very high or high, and 75% said they would recommend HOTM to other teachers.

Evidence of Michigan Harvest of the Month’s efficacy in retail point-of-access settings is referenced in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior (Scott, MK, Rahrig, J, Cullen, SR, McConaughy, P, MkNelly, B, Sugarman, S, Khaira, K.  Grocer-added SNAP-Ed Social marketing campaign to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. JNEB. 2014; 46(4S): S156 at http://www.jneb.org/article/S1499-4046(14)00332-7/abstract); and in the Michigan Fitness Foundation’s USDA SNAP-Ed Final Reports, FFY 2013 and 2014 which includes evaluation reports conducted by CA Public Health Institute.

Classification: Practice-tested

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, ST4 MT1 LT1
Environmental Settings ST6, ST7 MT5 LT7, LT9
Sectors of Influence MT12

 

Evaluation Materials

For school-based evaluation, tailored pre-post surveys for students and standardized surveys for parents, teachers, and child nutrition directors are available. For point-of-access-based evaluation, an electronic shopper intercept survey is available.

Additional Information

Website: The Michigan HOTM website (http://www.michiganfitness.org/harvest-month) includes a program overview, samples of a featured vegetable newsletter in English and Spanish, and a contact for more information.

Contact Person:
Marci K. Scott, PhD, RD
Vice President of Health Programs
Michigan Fitness Foundation
Email: mscott@michiganfitness.org
Phone: (517) 908-3862