Approaches for Implementing Healthy Food Interventions in Settings With Limited Resources: A Case Study of Sodium Reduction Interventions in Emergency Food Programs Addressing Food Insecurity

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Am J Health Promot. 2021 Dec 3:8901171211056121. doi: 10.1177/08901171211056121. Online ahead of print.

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: This study describes how recipients of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funded Sodium Reduction in Communities Program (SRCP) worked with emergency food programs to improve access to healthy food to address chronic conditions.

DESIGN: SRCP recipients partnered with emergency food programs to implement sodium reduction strategies including nutrition standards, procurement practices, environmental strategies, and behavioral economics approaches.

SETTING: SRCP recipients and emergency food programs in Washington County and Benton County, Arkansas and King County, Washington.

SUBJECTS: SRCP recipient staff, emergency food program staff, and key stakeholders.

MEASURES: We conducted semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders and systematic review of program documents.

ANALYSIS: Data were analyzed using effects matrices for each recipient. Matrices were organized using select implementation science constructs and compared in a cross-case analysis.

RESULTS: Despite limited resources, emergency food programs can implement sodium reduction interventions which may provide greater access to healthy foods and lead to reductions in health disparities. Emergency food programs successfully implemented sodium reduction interventions by building on the external and internal settings; selecting strategies that align with existing processes; implementing change incrementally and engaging staff, volunteers, and clients; and sustaining changes.

CONCLUSION: Findings contribute to understanding the ways in which emergency food programs and other organizations with limited resources have implemented public health nutrition interventions addressing food insecurity and improving access to healthy foods. These strategies may be transferable to other settings with limited resources.

PMID:34860600 | DOI:10.1177/08901171211056121