The past couple of months have kept us busy with new EatFresh.org trainings and wrapping up our impact evaluation. We also have expanded the EatFresh team to include a new Program Coordinator in San Francisco, Erin Franey! Read on for more details.
EatFresh.org Reaches Large Portion of CalFresh Population Not Getting Nutrition Education
Our results from our year-long impact evaluation are finally here! The findings confirm that the website is well-received by users and partners, and also show a 28% increase in new visitors since launch in September 2013. Additionally, we found that EatFresh.org is reaching a large portion of the CalFresh population that is not otherwise receiving SNAP-Ed. Seventy-one percent of our users who are on CalFresh reported that they have never attended an in-person nutrition education class or workshop. This shows that EatFresh.org compliments existing programs and is a valuable resource for those who have Internet access.
While no dose-response relationship was found between users and nonusers, there were notable knowledge, attitude, and behavior differences in healthy eating, including planning meals before shopping and cooking meals at home. Our outside evaluator also found that EatFresh.org partner organizations reported successful incorporation of the website into existing programming, providing an easy and efficient way to deliver nutrition education to their clients. These findings will help inform upcoming development of a guided online curriculum that will use EatFresh.org as a resource for lessons on specific health messaging topics.
Read the full evaluation summary »
Welcome, Erin Franey!
Erin Franey joined Leah's Pantry as Program and Outreach Coordinator of EatFresh.org this September. She grew up in Portland, Oregon and attended the University of Virginia where she studied social movements and medical anthropology. After graduation Erin moved to San Francisco and worked for two years as a community organizer with ACCE - the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment. She then journeyed to Costa Rica where she spent the last year and a half directing a program for a youth leadership and intercultural exchange organization, Amigos de las Americas. Erin has cultivated an interest in food justice for many years, and that passion has led her to Leah's Pantry. She is so excited to be back in San Francisco and contributing to EatFresh.org outreach efforts in the city she calls home, and we are thrilled to welcome her to the EatFresh team!
Sacramento START Uses EatFresh.org In Out of School Time
In early October, we had the opportunity to present in Sacramento to over 30 START after-school program providers. Launched in 1996, the Sacramento START program helps children throughout the Sacramento region gain knowledge, expand their universe outside neighborhood boundaries, and provides opportunities to grow and flourish. The program currently offers academic, enrichment, physical activities, and nutrition and recreation opportunities for participants.
As well as introducing the EatFresh.org website and its resources, we facilitated activity around Eating the Rainbow, which sparked conversations between participants about foods unique to their culture and encouraged everyone to eat a greater diversity of fruits and vegetables. Participants were enthusiastic and showed an eagerness to utilize EatFresh.org as a tool for their families and themselves! Individual after school staff also showed great interest in EatFresh.org as a useful educational and reference tool.
Approximately 4,000 children and youth are currently enrolled in the Sacramento START program across four school districts and 38 school sites. We’re excited to have created a relationship with such an outstanding program in order to offer nutritional information, education and resources to participants.
EatFresh.org Being Introduced To Patients at SF General Hospital
We introduced EatFresh.org to first- and second-year primary care resident physicians at San Francisco General Hospital to use as a resource for patients during our Leah’s Pantry nutrition education training last month. At the training, we discovered that the residents were not aware of the CalFresh program, but quickly became curious about how to help their patients enroll in the program. They were excited to learn that EatFresh.org is useful for both inexpensive, healthy recipes and as a quick link to the CalFresh application. We trained the residents to deliver core nutrition messages, consistent with other SNAP-Ed programs, and to use EatFresh.org as a resource to reinforce the messages once patients leave the hospital.
Overall, feedback was very positive and the residents found that they could relate to the CalFresh population (i.e. poor diet, lack of time/money, lack of sleep) in ways that they had not thought of before. It was obvious that the training had both a personal and professional impact on the group.
Food Banks Integrating EatFresh.org Into Nutrition Education Efforts
In October, we worked closely with Feeding America San Diego and the Jacobs and Cushman San Diego Food Bank to create EatFresh.org messaging and recipe cards tailored specifically to four core messages that both food banks will be promoting over the next year through their distribution agencies:
Using Leah’s Pantry curriculum and EatFresh.org, we trained agencies on how to deliver basic nutrition messages to their clients. Eighty-five percent of participants reported that the training materials were helpful in providing them with the tools to integrate nutrition into their work. “Delicious”, “enlightening”, “client-inclusive”, and “helpful” were some of the words used by participants to describe the training. We are thrilled to be integrating EatFresh.org into the processes of both food banks and look forward to hearing feedback soon!
How have you integrated EatFresh.org into your process or program? Send us an email – we'd love to highlight your approach so others can learn from it!
The EatFresh Team
*Supported by the Aetna Foundation, a national foundation based in Hartford, Connecticut that supports projects to promote wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone. The views presented here are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Aetna Foundation, its directors, officers, or staff.