A Qualitative Exploration of Approaches Applied by Nutrition Educators Within Nutrition Incentive Programs


Stotz, S.; Mitchell, E.; Szczepaniak, M.; Akin, J.; Fricke, H.; Shanks, C.B.


Objective: To explore the approaches applied by nutrition educators who work with the US Department of Agriculture Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP), Nutrition Incentive (NI), and Produce Prescription (PPR) programs. Methods: Multiple data collection methods, including descriptive survey (n = 41), individual interviews (n = 25), and 1 focus group (n = 5). Interviewees were educators who deliver nutrition education as a component of GusNIP NI/PPR programs. Descriptive statistics were calculated from survey responses. Transcripts were coded using thematic qualitative analysis methods. Results: Four overarching themes emerged. First, educators have many roles and responsibilities beyond providing curriculum-based nutrition education. Second, interviewees emphasized participant-centered nutrition education and support. Third, partnerships with collaborating cross-sector organizations are essential. Fourth, there are common challenges to providing nutrition education within GusNIP NI/PPR programs, and educators proposed solutions to mitigate these challenges. Conclusions: Nutrition educators promote multilevel solutions to improve dietary intake, and it is recommended they be included in conversations to improve GusNIP NI/PPR programs. © 2022 The Authors


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