Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance
Intervention Type: PSE Change
Intervention Reach and Adoption
Setting: Community, USDA program sites (not National School Lunch Program), Food Pantries, Other: Food Banks.
Target Audience: Parents/Mothers/Fathers, Adults, Older Adults, Homeless/Food Pantry Clients, Other: Stakeholders and decision makers at every level of the charitable food system, from food pantry volunteers to food bank staff to food donors.
- How to Rank Foods Using SWAP Guide
- SWAP Calculator: Excel sheet with algorithm to aid with ranking food
- SWAP flyer for clients
- Healthy donation list
- HER Nutrition Guidelines (https://bit.ly/34VoLZq)
- SWAP Toolkit (https://indd.adobe.com/view)
- Using SWAP in Food Pantries Video (https://bit.ly/3KqieGx)
- Feeding America’s Nutrition in Food Banking Toolkit
- Implementing HER Nutrition Guidelines in Food Banks
The HER Nutrition Guideline expert panel was purposefully created to include 50% nutrition experts and 50% experts/practitioners in the charitable food system. Then a Feeding America taskforce reviewed, provided feedback, and adopted the guidelines. SWAP was then revised to completely align with the HER Nutrition Guidelines.
Research on SWAP shows that the availability of healthy food increases significantly when nutrition ranking is used, and it works at every level of the charitable food system. Food pantries order more nutritious food from the food bank when the food bank ranks their inventory using SWAP and displays that information in their online ordering system. Among the largest changes were increases in orders of fresh produce, brown rice, low-fat dairy and low-fat meats and decreases in orders of sugary juice drinks, canned fruit with added sugar, higher fat dairy and higher fat meats. After food pantries implement SWAP, the nutritional quality of their inventory supply improves, and food pantry clients selected more green items and fewer red items than before implementation.
- Martin KS, Wolff M, Callahan K, Schwartz MB. Supporting wellness at pantries: Development of a nutrition stoplight system for food banks and food pantries. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2019;119(4):553-559. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2018.03.003
- Cooksey-Stowers K, Martin KS, Schwartz M. Client preferences for nutrition interventions in food pantries. J Hunger Environ Nutr. 2019;14(1-2):18-34. doi:10.1080/19320248.2018.1512929
- Martin K, Xu R, Schwartz MB. Food pantries select healthier foods after nutrition information is available on their food bank’s ordering platform. Public Health Nutr. 2021;24(15):5066-5073. doi:10.1017/S1368980020004814
- Stowers KC, Martin KS, Read M, et al. Supporting Wellness at Pantries (SWAP): changes to inventory in six food pantries over one year. Z Gesundh Wiss. 2022;30(4):1001-1009. doi:10.1007/s10389-020-01350-8
- McKee SL, Gurganus EA, Atoloye AT, Xu R, Martin K, Schwartz MB. Pilot testing an intervention to educate and promote nutritious choices at food pantries. Z Gesundh Wiss. Published online 2021. doi:10.1007/s10389-021-01570-6
Evidence-based Approach: Research-Tested
|Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST)||Changes – Medium Term (MT)||Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT)||Population Results (R)|
|Sectors of Influence|
- MT5a: Number and proportion of sites that make at least one change in writing or practice to expand access or improve appeal for healthy eating
- MT5f: Total potential number of persons who encounter the improved environment or are affected by the policy change on a regular basis and are assumed to be influenced by it.
- Survey of client food preferences for planning to implement SWAP and understand client preferences.
- Survey of client feedback and satisfaction to assess client knowledge and attitudes around SWAP.
- Inventory snapshot worksheet for pantries to record inventory rankings and change over time.
- Inventory reporting for food banks to run reports, set benchmarks, and display change in their inventory nutritional quality over time.