Development of a Nutrition Education Intervention for Food Bank Clients

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Abstract

The focus of this article is the development of a nutrition education intervention for food bank clients. Formative research using mixed-methods (qualitative and quantitative) and community-based participatory research principles was conducted to assess the nutrition education needs of clients obtaining service from the Houston Food Bank (HFB). Participants were HFB and pantry staff and clients. Interview data were coded and analyzed using grounded theory approach. Themes were then identified. Quantitative data were analyzed for frequencies and descriptives. Data were used to tailor the curriculum to the target population. Six HFB staff, 49 pantry staff from 17 pantries, and 54 clients from 10 pantries participated in interviews and focus groups and completed questionnaires. The participants provided opinion on the current nutrition education provided via the food bank and made suggestions on strategies for development of an intervention. Their feedback was used to develop the six-session intervention curriculum to be delivered over 6 months. This research provides evidence that it is critical for members of the target audience be included in formative research to develop behavior change programs that are relevant and appealing and target their needs and interests.

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