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1.
J Nutr Sci Vitaminol (Tokyo) ; 68(Supplement): S81-S83, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2141568

ABSTRACT

Cumulative evidence shows that people with lower socioeconomic status (SES) have higher risk of mortality and non-communicable diseases, which are strongly related to diet. A low diet quality may be related to a rise in chronic non-communicable diseases from childhood onward. This literature review summarizes the food assistance for reducing health disparities among children in Japan. The school lunch program in Japan is important for achieving adequate nutrient intakes in schoolchildren and reducing disparities of adequate nutrient intake by household income levels. Additionally, the number of children's cafeterias, contributing to the support of children suffering from poverty by providing free or low-cost meals in a comfortable environment, as well as being bases for multi-generational community communication, and where local children and adults eat together, has rapidly increased. Those who with lower SES tended to use food supports, such as the children's cafeteria, as well as food pantries and emergency home food deliveries, during the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be necessary to establish a public-private system that can provide information on local food assistance to people whose socioeconomic status has changed rapidly.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Noncommunicable Diseases , Child , Adult , Humans , Japan , Pandemics , Lunch
2.
Health Aff (Millwood) ; 41(11): 1616-1625, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2109348

ABSTRACT

Many low-income Americans experience food insecurity, which may have been exacerbated by economic instability during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. In this study we assessed the impact of Healthy Helping, a short-term fruit and vegetable incentive program aimed at alleviating food insecurity and improving diet quality for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants, on grocery purchases, using transaction data from a large supermarket chain in North Carolina. We compared Healthy Helping participants' purchases of key food groups before and during the program with purchases by control shoppers participating in federal food assistance programs during the same period. Healthy Helping enrollment was associated with a $26.95 increase in monthly spending on fruit, vegetables, nuts, and legumes-an increase of 2.5 grams of fiber per 1,000 kilocalories purchased-and other shifts in the composition of food purchases, relative to control shoppers. These findings suggest that the program increased healthy food purchases while also increasing dollar sales at participating retailers. On average, participants did not use the full benefit; future research should explore factors associated with non- or underuse of benefits, to inform program design and outreach.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Humans , Motivation , North Carolina , Pandemics , Vegetables , Fruit , Food Supply
3.
BMC Pregnancy Childbirth ; 22(1): 806, 2022 Nov 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2098325

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) was revised in 2009 to be more congruent with national dietary guidelines. There is limited research examining effects of the revision on women's and children's health. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether the revised WIC food package was associated with various indicators of physical and mental health for women and children. METHODS: We used 1998-2017 waves of the National Health Interview Survey (N = 81,771 women and 27,780 children) to estimate effects of the revised WIC food package on indicators of health for both women (self-reported health and body mass index) and children (anemia, mental health, and parent-reported health). We used difference-in-differences analysis, a quasi-experimental technique that assessed pre-post differences in outcomes among WIC-recipients while "differencing out" the secular underlying trends among a control group of non-recipients. RESULTS: For all outcomes evaluated for women and children, we were unable to rule out the null hypothesis that there was no effect of receiving the revised WIC food package. These findings were confirmed across several secondary analyses conducted to assess heterogeneity of effects and robustness of results. CONCLUSION: While we did not find effects of the revised WIC food package on downstream health indicators, studies using similarly robust methods in other datasets have found shorter-term effects on more proximal outcomes related to diet and nutrition. Effects of the modest WIC revisions may be less impactful on longer-term indicators of health, and future studies should examine the larger COVID-19-era expansion.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Infant , Child , Female , Humans , Child Health , Women's Health , Food
4.
Nutrients ; 14(21)2022 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2090295

ABSTRACT

This study aims to describe reasons for discontinuing participation and experiences participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) during the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyzed data from a cross-sectional online survey distributed to a national sample, restricted to (1) households that discontinued participating in SNAP (n = 146) or WIC (n = 149) during the pandemic and (2) households that participated in SNAP (n = 501) or WIC (n = 141) during spring 2021-approximately one year into the pandemic. We conducted thematic analyses of open-ended survey questions and descriptive statistics for Likert-scale items. Themes raised by respondents who discontinued participating in SNAP or WIC included difficulty recertifying and virus exposure concerns. Former WIC participants reported the program was not worth the effort and former SNAP participants reported failing to requalify. Respondents participating in WIC or SNAP during the pandemic mentioned transportation barriers and insufficient benefit value. WIC participants had trouble redeeming benefits in stores and SNAP participants desired improved online grocery purchasing experiences. These results suggest that enhancements to WIC and SNAP, such as expanded online purchasing options, program flexibilities, and benefit increases, can improve program participation to ensure access to critical nutrition supports, especially during emergencies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Child , Infant , Humans , Female , Pandemics , Food Supply , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Poverty
5.
Nutrients ; 14(20)2022 Oct 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2082304

ABSTRACT

Understanding the views of families from low-income backgrounds about inequities in healthy food access and grocery purchase is critical to food access policies. This study explored perspectives of families eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) on healthy food access in physical and online grocery environments. The qualitative design used purposive sampling of 44 primary household food purchasers with children (aged ≤ 8), between November 2020-March 2021, through 11 online focus groups and 5 in-depth interviews. Grounded theory was used to identify community-level perceived inequities, including influences of COVID-19 pandemic, SNAP and online grocery services. The most salient perceived causes of inequitable food access were neighborhood resource deficiencies and public transportation limitations. Rural communities, people with disabilities, older adults, racially and ethnically diverse groups were perceived to be disproportionately impacted by food inequities, which were exacerbated by the pandemic. The ability to use SNAP benefits to buy foods online facilitated healthy food access. Delivery fees and lack of control over food selection were barriers. Barriers to healthy food access aggravated by SNAP included social stigma, inability to acquire cooked meals, and inadequate amount of monthly funds. Findings provide a foundation for policy redesign to promote equitable healthy food systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Child , Humans , Aged , Food Supply , Pandemics , COVID-19/epidemiology , Poverty
6.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(18)2022 Sep 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2055230

ABSTRACT

Food insecurity is widespread in the United States. The COVID-19 pandemic intensified the need for food assistance and created opportunities for collaboration among historically-siloed organizations. Research has demonstrated the importance of coalition building and community organizing in Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) change and its potential to address equitable access to food, ultimately improving population health outcomes. In New Haven, community partners formed a coalition to address systems-level issues in the local food assistance system through the Greater New Haven Coordinated Food Assistance Network (CFAN). Organizing the development of CFAN within the framework of Collaborating for Equity and Justice (CEJ) reveals a new way of collaborating with communities for social change with an explicit focus on equity and justice. A document review exploring the initiation and growth of the network found that 165 individuals, representing 63 organizations, participated in CFAN since its inception and collaborated on 50 actions that promote food access and overall health. Eighty-one percent of these actions advanced equitable resource distribution across the food system, with forty-five percent focused on coordinating food programs to meet the needs of underserved communities. With the goal of improving access to food while addressing overall equity within the system, the authors describe CFAN as a potential community organizing model in food assistance systems.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Health Equity , COVID-19/epidemiology , Food Insecurity , Humans , Pandemics , Social Justice , United States
7.
J Nutr Educ Behav ; 54(11): 982-997, 2022 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2049538

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe state agencies' implementation of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) during the first year of the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, barriers and facilitators to SNAP implementation, and recommendations to improve SNAP implementation. DESIGN: Qualitative methodology guided by Bullock's determinants of policy implementation framework using 7 semistructured, virtual focus groups in April 2021. SETTING: Twenty-six states representing all 7 US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service regions. PARTICIPANTS: Four focus groups with state-level SNAP administrators and 3 focus groups with state-level SNAP supportive services (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education, Employment & Training, and Outreach) supervisors (n = 62). PHENOMENON OF INTEREST: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program implementation during the COVID-19 pandemic. ANALYSIS: Thematic analysis using a phronetic iterative approach. RESULTS: Six primary themes emerged: the policy response, technology needs, collaboration, participant communication, funding realities, and equity. Implementation challenges included the design of waivers in the early pandemic response, inadequate federal guidance and funding, outdated technology, and prepandemic regulations limiting state authority. Modernized technology systems, availability of virtual programming, partnerships, and enhanced benefits facilitated SNAP implementation. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program administrators adapted their programs to deliver services virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic. These experiences highlighted the importance of certain policy determinants, such as modernized technology and streamlined application processes, to improve outcomes for SNAP participants and staff.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Humans , Pandemics , Food Supply , Poverty
8.
Am J Public Health ; 112(10): 1370-1371, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2039531
9.
PLoS One ; 17(9): e0274799, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2039429

ABSTRACT

Little is known about longitudinal patterns of welfare program participation among single mothers after they transition from employment to unemployment. To better understand how utilization patterns of these welfare programs may change during the 12 months after a job loss, we used the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation to examine the patterns of participation in Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and unemployment insurance among 342 single mothers who transitioned from employment to unemployment during the Great Recession. Using sequence analysis and cluster analysis, this paper identified four distinct patterns of program participation: (a) constantly receiving in-kind benefits; (b) primarily but not solely receiving food stamps; (c) inconsistent unemployment insurance or Medicaid-based benefits; and (d) limited or no benefits. Almost two-fifths of our sample of single mothers received inconsistent, limited, or no benefits. Results of the multinomial regression revealed that race, work disability, poverty, homeownership, and region of residence were significant factors that influenced whether study subjects participated in or had access to social safety net programs. Our findings illustrate the heterogeneity in patterns of multiple program participation among single mothers transitioning from employment to unemployment. Better understanding these varied patterns may inform decisions that increase the accessibility of US social safety net programs for single mothers during periods of personal economic hardship.


Subject(s)
Food Assistance , Unemployment , Employment , Humans , Medicaid , Poverty , United States
10.
Nutrients ; 14(18)2022 Sep 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2033076

ABSTRACT

Online grocery shopping has expanded rapidly in the U.S., yet little is known about the retailer's perceptions of online grocery services, which can aid in the expansion of services. Furthermore, many barriers to online grocery utilization persist across geographic areas, especially among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)-authorized retailers. This study captured perceived barriers and facilitators of online grocery shopping for managers of SNAP-authorized retailers. Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with managers (n = 23) of grocery stores/supermarkets in urban and rural areas across four different states: TN, KY, NC, and NY. Grocery store managers offering online ordering (n = 15) and managers from brick-and-mortar stores without online services (n = 8) participated in the interviews. Three primary themes emerged among managers offering online ordering: (1) order fulfillment challenges, (2) perceived customer barriers, and (3) perceived customer benefits. Among managers at brick-and-mortar locations without online services, four major themes emerged: (1) thoughts on implementing online shopping, (2) COVID-19 pandemic impacts, (3) competition with other stores, and (4) benefits of maintaining brick-and-mortar shopping. This study provides a deeper understanding of retailers' experience and perceptions of online grocery services among stores authorized to accept SNAP benefits. This perspective is necessary to inform policies and enhance the evolving virtual food marketplace for SNAP customers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Commerce , Food Supply , Humans , Pandemics , Supermarkets
11.
Am J Public Health ; 112(10): 1394-1398, 2022 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2022194

ABSTRACT

Feed1st, a no-questions-asked, self-serve food pantry program at a Chicago, Illinois, medical center, increased its impact during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding five new pantries and distributing 124% more food in March 2020 to November 2021 (42 970 pounds or 36 000 meals) than in the same period of 2018 to 2019 (19 220 pounds or 16 000 meals). Of 11 locations, distribution was highest in a phlebotomy waiting area and a cafeteria pantry. The community-engaged model enabled Feed1st to increase food access for patients, caregivers, and workers during the pandemic. (Am J Public Health. 2022;112(10):1394-1398. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2022.306984).


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Food Supply , Hospitals , Humans , Pandemics
12.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0269442, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2021785

ABSTRACT

Using polynomial distributed lag (PDL) models, the impacts of macroeconomic factors relating to economic, financial, and sociological stress and designed to be short-run predictors of U.S. economic performance are identified and assessed concerning participation in key food assistance programs (SNAP, WIC, and NSLP). The econometric analysis covers the period October 1999 to September 2020. The impact of COVID-19 on participation in these programs also is quantified. Based on the parameter estimates obtained from the econometric PDL models, ex-ante forecasts of participation in the SNAP, WIC, and NSLP subsequently are made and evaluated over the period October 2020 to August 2021. The empirical results show that different sets of macroeconomic drivers affect participation levels across the respective food assistance programs. No macroeconomic factor is common across SNAP, WIC, and NSLP participation. Changes in macroeconomic conditions which influence SNAP, WIC and NSLP participation are not just contemporaneous but also affect participation levels anywhere from 1 month to 12 months later. Importantly, this research allows not only the determination of the macroeconomic factors which affect program participation but also allows the determination of the ability of the respective models to forecast program participation. As such, the Food and Nutrition Service will be in better position to assess program needs as well as to forecast program participation levels to minimize errors in the budgetary process.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Nutritional Status , United States
13.
J Nutr Gerontol Geriatr ; 41(3): 235-255, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2008471

ABSTRACT

Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and food banks provide nutritious food for in-need older adults. The objective of this study was to identify successes, challenges, and opportunities associated with meeting the food needs of older adults. We used semi-structured telephone interviews with AAA nutrition staff (n = 5), food bank program coordinators (n = 5) and executives (n = 6), and older adults (n = 60) in Iowa. AAAs and food banks identified providing healthy food and client satisfaction as successes and funding and staff/volunteer capacity as challenges. Before the pandemic, the relationships between these organizations were limited, but both saw opportunities for collaboration. Older adults described coordination between AAAs and food banks during the COVID-19 crisis. AAAs and food banks play an important role in meeting older adults' food needs, but their effectiveness is limited by challenges related to funding and capacity. There is a need to identify feasible and sustainable strategies for collaboration past this crisis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Aged , Aging , COVID-19/epidemiology , Food Supply , Humans , Iowa
14.
Nutrients ; 14(17)2022 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2006145

ABSTRACT

Recent changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Cash-Value Benefit (CVB), which provides participants with money to spend on fruits and vegetables, have the potential to reduce disparities in healthy food access and food insecurity that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, few studies have examined how the changes to the CVB allotment that occurred during the pandemic influenced WIC participants' perceptions of the benefit or their fruit and vegetable purchasing and consumption. To address this gap, we conducted semi-structured interviews with 51 WIC participants in Wilmington, Delaware. Survey measures included demographic questions, the Hunger Vital Sign food insecurity screener, and open-ended questions regarding perceptions of the CVB increase and its influence on participants' fruit and vegetable purchasing and consumption. Data were analyzed using a hybrid inductive and deductive coding approach. The results demonstrate that higher CVB allotments increased WIC participants' purchasing and consumption of fruits and vegetables, increased the frequency of their shopping occasions, and enhanced their dietary variety. Our findings also suggest that WIC participants highly value the increased CVB. Consequently, maintaining the increased CVB allotment could improve the nutritional outcomes of low-income mothers, infants, and children participating in WIC.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Female , Fruit , Humans , Infant , Pandemics , Vegetables
15.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(17)2022 Aug 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2006008

ABSTRACT

Children living in food-insecure households have poorer overall health than children in food-secure households. While U.S. nutrition assistance programs provide resources, these cannot consistently offer age-appropriate nutritional foods for young children. This study aimed to determine community stakeholders' perceptions of the barriers and facilitators to obtaining adequate, high-quality, and age-appropriate foods for children ages 0-3 in Florida before and during COVID-19. Community stakeholders (n = 32) participated in a 60 min interview via Zoom using a semi-structured script based on the PRECEDE component of the PRECEDE-PROCEED model. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded by two researchers using a thematic analysis approach. Stakeholders' perceptions revealed a lack of awareness surrounding eligibility for assistance programs, a lack of knowledge regarding how to obtain resources and services, and stigma associated with receiving benefits. These remained significant barriers to obtaining healthful foods for households with young children before and during COVID-19. Nonetheless, barriers were exacerbated during the pandemic. Unemployment rates rose, intensifying these households' financial hardships and food insecurity levels. Likewise, stakeholders suggested the need for families to become more aware of federal assistance eligibility requirements and available opportunities via social media and referrals. Identifying risk factors associated with food insecurity can inform future interventions to safeguard young children's health and well-being.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Child, Preschool , Family Characteristics , Food Security , Food Supply , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Nutritional Status
16.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(17)2022 Aug 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2006003

ABSTRACT

The United States Department of Agriculture approved an increase to the Cash Value Benefit (CVB) for the purchase of fruits and vegetables issued to participants receiving an eligible Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food package. In order to understand satisfaction, perceptions, and the overall impact of additional benefits for fruits and vegetables at the household level, a qualitative study consisting of structured phone interviews was conducted with families served by WIC in Southern California from November to December 2021 (n = 30). Families were selected from a large longitudinal study sample (N = 2784); the sample was restricted by benefit redemption and stratified by language and race. WIC participants were highly satisfied with the CVB increase, reporting increased purchasing and consumption of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Respondents noted the improved quality and variety of fruits and vegetables purchased due to the increased amount. Findings are expected to inform policy makers to adjust the CVB offered in the WIC food package with the potential to improve participant satisfaction and increase participation and retention of eligible families with benefits from healthy diets supported by WIC.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , California , Child , Female , Fruit , Humans , Infant , Longitudinal Studies , United States , Vegetables
17.
Public Health Rep ; 137(6): 1187-1197, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2002023

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Financial hardships, job losses, and social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic have increased food insecurity. We examined associations between food insecurity-related interventions and mental health among US adults aged ≥18 years from April 2020 through August 2021. METHODS: We pooled data from the Household Pulse Survey from April 2020 through August 2021 (N = 2 253 567 adults). To estimate associations between mental health and food insecurity, we examined the following interventions: the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Economic Impact Payments (stimulus funds), unemployment insurance, and free meals. We calculated psychological distress index (PDI) scores (Cronbach α = 0.91) through principal components analysis using 4 mental health variables: depression, anxiety, worry, and lack of interest (with a standardized mean score [SD] = 100 [20]). We conducted multivariable linear regression to estimate the interactive effects of the intervention and food insecurity on psychological distress, controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. RESULTS: During the study period, adults with food insecurity had higher mean PDI scores than adults without food insecurity. Food insecurity was associated with increased PDI scores after controlling for sociodemographic characteristics. In stratified models, negative associations between food insecurity and mental health (as shown by reductions in PDI scores) were mitigated by SNAP (-4.5), stimulus fund (-4.1), unemployment insurance (-4.4), and free meal (-4.4) interventions. The mitigation effects of interventions on PDI were greater for non-Hispanic White adults than for non-Hispanic Black or Asian adults. CONCLUSIONS: Future research on food insecurity and mental health should include investigations on programs and policies that could be of most benefit to racial and ethnic minority groups.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Ethnicity , Food Insecurity , Food Supply , Humans , Mental Health , Minority Groups , Pandemics , Poverty
18.
J Acad Nutr Diet ; 122(12): 2218-2227.e21, 2022 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2000496

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The US Department of Agriculture granted waivers to allow flexibility in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) operations during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic; however, research examining the associations between waiver introduction and changes in perceptions, practices, and challenges of WIC participants' and agency directors' experiences is limited. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to assess California WIC participants' and agency directors' perceptions and practices of remote WIC services during the COVID-19 pandemic. A secondary aim was to understand other COVID-19 challenges related to maintaining access to healthy foods by WIC participants. DESIGN: A qualitative study that included semistructured interviews was conducted between June 2020 and March 2021. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING: One hundred eighty-two WIC participants with a child aged 0 to 5 years from three regions of California (Southern, Central, and Northern) and 22 local WIC agency directors across the state were interviewed. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: WIC participants' and agency directors' perceptions, practices, and other challenges during COVID-19. STATISTICAL ANALYSES PERFORMED: Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using a grounded theory approach. RESULTS: Participants shared that they valued the information received from WIC and were very satisfied with remote WIC services. Participants reported that enrolling in WIC remotely was easier than coming in person. All waivers and changes to WIC operations, namely the physical presence, remote benefit issuance, and separation of duties waivers, and remote work and remote delivery of nutrition education, were largely viewed by WIC agency directors as options that should be continued postpandemic. Further, a majority (63%) of households reported experiencing food insecurity, and half of respondents received food from a food bank or pantry during the pandemic. CONCLUSIONS: Findings suggest WIC will attract and retain the most families by offering a hybrid model of services, incorporating both onsite services and remote options to work more efficiently and effectively.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Infant , Child , Humans , Female , Pandemics , Health Education , Family Characteristics
19.
J Nutr Sci ; 11: e64, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1972473

ABSTRACT

Marketing influences consumers' dietary purchases. However, little is known about marketing environments in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)-authorised stores. The present study explored SNAP-authorised store marketing environments in Louisiana by rurality, store ownership and store type (n 42). Sampling methods were designed to include randomly selected stores in each geographic area of the state. The GroPromo was used to measure placement, promotion, and child-focused aspects of marketing strategies used for healthier (fruits and vegetables) and less healthy products (chips, candy, sugar-sweetened beverages, child-focused cereal) in medium- and high-prominence marketing areas. In using multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) (P < 0⋅05) for data analysis, variations in GroPromo scores were found among SNAP-authorised stores by rurality (P < 0⋅05) and store ownership (P < 0⋅001); no differences were found by store type (P > 0⋅05). Future research, practice and policy strategies are required to understand the influence of marketing environments on SNAP participants' dietary quality and to design responsive public health interventions.


Subject(s)
Food Assistance , Beverages , Commerce , Food Supply , Humans , Marketing , Poverty
20.
Int J Environ Res Public Health ; 19(14)2022 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938801

ABSTRACT

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Cash Value Benefit (CVB) for fruits and vegetables increased by roughly USD 25/month/person. We sought to understand WIC participant perceptions of this change and barriers and facilitators to using the CVB. We conducted 10 virtual focus groups (5 rural, 5 urban/suburban) with WIC participants (n = 55) in North Carolina in March 2022. Focus groups were recorded and transcribed. We open-coded the content and used thematic analysis to uncover consistencies within and between sampled groups. Participants expressed favorable perceptions of the CVB increase and stated the pre-pandemic CVB amount was insufficient. Barriers to using the increased CVB were identifying WIC-approved fruits and vegetables in stores and insufficient supply of fruits and vegetables. Barriers were more pronounced in rural groups. Facilitators of CVB use were existing household preferences for fruits and vegetables and the variety of products that can be purchased with CVB relative to other components of the WIC food package. Participants felt the CVB increase allowed their families to eat a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. The CVB increase may improve fruit and vegetable intake, particularly if made permanent, but barriers to CVB and WIC benefit use may limit the potential impact.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Food Assistance , Child , Female , Fruit , Humans , Infant , Pandemics , Vegetables
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