Online Program

Senior SNAP-Ed: Policy, systems and environmental changes to improve nutrition

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Kristen D. Smith, MPH, Aging & Independence Services, San Diego, CA
USDA SNAP-Ed (aka NEOP) funding for older adults was routed through a state department on aging to local area agencies on aging for the first time, beginning in July 2014. We will describe the initial year of our innovative project that includes support for nutrition sites to improve their menu standards and a community engagement program with seniors to identify and overcome barriers to healthy food and physical activity. 

We conducted educational sessions on policy, systems and environmental (PSE) impacts on health with diverse seniors at three low-income congregate meal sites, reaching Hispanic, Guamanian, Filipino, and white seniors. They identified barriers to healthy food and physical activity, such as dangerous intersections. They have identified PSE changes in the community to overcome such barriers, e.g., convincing the traffic department to install safer cross-walks. By October 2015, we will have completed the program and will report on which PSE barriers and solutions the seniors chose to address, plus any successes towards making those PSE changes.

In a related intervention, we conducted a print campaign with pictures of Harvest of the Month (HOTM) vegetable/fruit and recipes on the dining tables at each of 13 low-income congregate meal sites. We hope to build awareness of the importance of eating fresh produce and build support for including HOTM items on the menu. We trained the nutrition site managers in how to implement HOTM focusing on locally sourced produce. We will share the results of our program, including how many of the 13 sites have adopted HOTM policies.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify and describe three components of the Harvest of the Month program and how it relates to senior nutrition. Compare and contrast at least two factors affecting how the Harvest of the Month program may be applied more successfully in some congregate meal sites than in others. List and describe three examples of how Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) factors can hinder or support older adults’ access to healthy food and physical activity. Summarize how programs may be able to use the lessons learned in San Diego in order to implement a community engagement project with seniors to improve PSE supports for healthy food and physical activity.

Keyword(s): Aging, Self-sufficiency and Empowerment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked in the field of public health and aging for over 10 years. I wrote the grant proposal for the project on senior nutrition and community engagement/PSE that will be presented and I currently direct the project as part of my job.
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.