Online Program

Delivering effective nutrition education in a santa clara county food bank's food distribution lines – lessons learned

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Daniel P. Perales, DrPh MPH, Department of Health Science, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Denise Cintron Perales, MS, Perales and Associates Evaluation Services, Concord, CA
Barbara MkNelly, MS, California Department of Public Health, Public Health Institute, Network for a Healthy California, Sacramento, CA
Deborah Danielewicz, MPH, San Jose, CA
This quasi-experimental study was conducted by the California Association of Food Banks, in collaboration with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, to assess the effectiveness of short and focused nutrition education lessons with food bank clients standing in monthly food distribution lines. A review of the literature found little to no research on nutrition education in food distribution lines. A convenience sample of 261 predominately low income Latino/Hispanic intervention food bank clients at six different food distribution sites was compared to 254 similar control clients at six other sites. The interactive MyPlate-based nutrition education and tastings focused on increasing nutrition knowledge and consumption of food bank provided fresh fruits and vegetables. Clients received two educational exposures over a two-month period. Post-test data were gathered in the third month. Results showed that brief (10-15 minute) nutrition education in food distribution lines had a statistically significant improvement on intervention clients' awareness of MyPlate, recall and use of specific MyPlate portion messages, and preparation of recipes received from the food bank. Intervention participants were also significantly more likely to have purchased a featured produce item at a store. Qualitative data found that MyPlate influenced participants to add more vegetables to their meals, eat smaller portions, prepare the featured recipes, and cook healthier foods for their families. This study showed that a well-designed nutrition education intervention, conducted within the time constraints associated with food distribution lines, can still have an impact on nutrition message knowledge and consumption-related behaviors. Lessons learned will be described.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe the educational constraints associated with providing nutrition education in food bank food distribution lines. Describe how MyPlate is used for delivering short produce focused nutrition education messages in food distribution lines. List at least three of the findings and lessons learned associated with demonstrating the effectiveness of delivering short produce focused nutrition education messages in food distribution lines.

Keyword(s): Nursing Education, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been an evaluation consultant to the California Department of Public Health Nutrition Network for 14 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
California Association of Food Banks program evaluation Consultant

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.