This report summarizes the actions and initiatives implemented since 2002 to increase fruit and vegetable consumption among participants in the nutrition assistance programs. The following areas addressed are policy, guidance, and initiatives, programs, nutrition education and promotion, collaboration and coordination, grants, reports, and emerging initiatives and resources.
The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is frequently asked, by a variety of nutrition education partners, how it defines a sound impact evaluation. The principles introduced here describe the characteristics of strong impact assessments of nutrition education. They are also consistent with the Government and Performance Results Act and the Office of Management and Budget’s guidance for clear demonstration of program effects.
The national nutrition safety net consists of 15 programs that provide millions of low-income Americans access to a healthy and nutritious diet. It has been observed that many low-income individuals are both overweight and participants in one or more nutrition assistance programs. This has led some to question whether participation in the nutrition assistance programs contributes to the growing problem of overweight and obesity. This report presents the conclusions of an expert panel convened by the Food and Nutrition Service to determine if there is scientific evidence of a relationship between program participation and excess weight.
This report fulfills the request from Congress in the House Appropriations Committee Report (House Report 107-116), which accompanied the Agriculture Appropriations Act for fiscal year 2002. The conference report included the following statement: “The nutritional status of our young people is a matter of public health. The Committee expects the Department to build upon work already done with the food pyramid, and other innovative national and local efforts. Nutrition information should be carefully reviewed so that a consistent and coordinated message is disseminated. Existing opportunities to convey nutrition messages, including newsletters, static displays in cafeterias, in-school and cable television productions should be used to the maximum extent possible. The committee directs the Department to provide a report regarding the development and implementation of this effort by February 1, 2002."
This report fulfills a Congressional request for the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to report on "a comprehensive, integrated approach to nutrition education as a complement to the various nutrition assistance programs." FNS reviewed its current nutrition education efforts, and consulted with a wide range of nutrition education experts and stakeholders.
One activity that reflects USDA’s commitment to nutrition promotion is the development of state nutrition networks. Since October 1995, USDA’s Food and Consumer Service has awarded cooperative agreements to 22 states to create nutrition networks that would develop innovative, large-scale and sustainable approaches to providing nutrition education to low-income families that participate or are eligible to participate in the Food Stamp Program.
This report presents the findings of a study sponsored by FCS that examined the food-choice behavior of low-income families. FCS undertook the study to better understand the food-purchasing and food choice decisions of the population the program serves.
Charting the Course for Evaluation: How Do We Measure the Success of Nutrition Education and Promotion in Food Assistance Programs?
Charting the Course for Evaluation: How Do We Measure the Success of Nutrition Education and Promotion in Food Assistance Programs? brought together nutrition educators, traditional evaluators, market researchers, and experts at evaluation of health promotion efforts to establish a dialogue to identify and push forward the state of the art in evaluating nutrition education and promotion efforts. The conference took place on July 13 and 14, 1995 in Arlington, Virginia.
FNS asked Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., (MPR) to assess the CPS estimates in relation to alternative estimates from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), which collects longitudinal monthly income data.