Online Program

Development of a community needs assessment for a healthy corner store initiative: A formative evaluation

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Kristin Riggsbee, LPN, Department of Nutrition, University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Knoxville, TN
Sara Hay, RDN, Public Health Nutrition, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Megan Beck, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Lauren Manuel, University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Marsha Spence, PhD, MPH, RDN, LDN, Department of Nutrition, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
Ben Epperson, Knox County Health Department
Local corner stores became a mecca for low-nutrient, calorically dense foods. However, in recent years, increasing attention to local food environments has created a healthy corner store movement, which aims to promote healthier food options and increase customer purchases of these healthier options.  In order to implement sustainable interventions, it is important to assess a corner store’s food environment but also customer and employee attitudes as well as beliefs about possible healthy changes.  The purpose of this formative evaluation is to provide insight regarding a comprehensive corner store assessment, which will provide opportunities for utilization of similar methods when evaluating the food environments of corner stores in the future. Results from the evaluation found that assessing the corner store’s food environment was not sufficient to provide enough evidence of feasibility and acceptability of healthy changes within the store.  Although a large amount of data was collected for the assessment, one limitation found was the inability to obtain purchasing or inventory records from the store. The use of formative data collection, such as customer purchasing patterns, observing shelf space within the store, and use of geographical information systems (mapping, was imperative for the assessment team to fully understand the corner store food environment.  Furthermore, community engagement, establishment of rapport, and developing partnerships with key stakeholders were crucial components of a successful assessment. In conclusion, this evaluation provides recommendations to carry out assessments of the food environments of corner stores using similar methods in the future.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Identify crucial components for designing and developing a comprehensive corner store assessment to evaluate for healthy changes

Keyword(s): Public Health Research, Built Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a member of the research team conducting the needs assessment in which the formative evaluation was based upon. Also, my scientific interests include food access and public health issues, specifically with healthy corner store intervention program planning, implementation, and evaluation.
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.