204877 Low-income access to fresh produce: Evaluation planning for the Local Foods Connection

Monday, November 9, 2009

Emma Duer, MPH , Department of Epidemiology, University of Iowa College of Public Health, Iowa City, IA
The impact of diet on our health cannot be understated. The importance of what we eat—and how it's grown—has a range of far-reaching consequences at the public health level. The effects of poor diet are known to have a more significant impact on low-income populations, and yet many of the nation's poor have reduced access to fresh, nutritious foods. As an MPH candidate at the University of Iowa in 2008, I gained public health experience by conducting my practicum with the Local Foods Connection, a nonprofit organization distributing fresh, local produce to Eastern Iowa's needy families through Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). I created for this program a mixed-methods evaluation framework, from which to begin an ongoing process and outcome evaluation during the 2009 program year. With the help of the organization's board members and many volunteers, I created a program logic model, four survey tools, and a series of databases for compiling and examining evaluation data. During the 2009 program year, I expect to administer over 150 paper surveys by mail to program participants pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 3 months follow-up. As a public health student, I was able to contribute significantly to this program's ability to demonstrate and sustain best practices. Forthcoming evaluation data will ensure that this organization's innovative approach to public health and environmental nutrition not only grows in its ability to impact diet and nutrition knowledge in the low-income community, but in its ability to provide future public health practicum opportunities.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the presentation, participants should be able to explain the purpose and benefit of evaluation in public health practice. Each participant should also be able to identify the components of a nutrition education program logic model, assess whether these components are measurable, and discuss appropriate methods for measuring them.

Keywords: Evaluation, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I hold an MPH from the University of Iowa, and conducted the presented work as part of my public health practicum.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.