They Learn from Watching You

They Learn from Watching You

State: Michigan. Agency Type: Non-profit. Food and Nutrition Service Region: Midwest.

Developed by the Michigan Fitness Foundation (MFF), They Learn From Watching You (TLFWY) is Michigan’s two-pronged, multi-level statewide social marketing campaign. It is based on the USDA’s core messages to increase fruit and vegetable consumption (Eat more fruits and veggies and they will too) and physical activity (Be active and your kids will too) of children and their families.

This practice-tested social marketing campaign uses multiple, overlapping channels that include social media/digital platforms, outdoor billboards, bus and truck wraps, print collateral, and public service announcements. On-the-ground components of TLFWY include Michigan Harvest of the Month (MiHOTM), which is modeled after California’s Harvest of the Month social marketing campaign. MiHOTM’s ready-to-go supplemental nutrition education materials can be integrated into core curricula and are based on the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans. All materials feature produce that is readily available and affordable in Michigan. As a result, MiHOTM has become widely popular in community, school, child care, worksite, retail, farmers market, health care, and emergency food settings.

Via training on MiHOTM by MFF and its partners, teachers in the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program schools are implementing MiHOTM activities and using its resources throughout classrooms and cafeterias. This is part of an effort to coordinate the delivery of FFVP snacks with nutrition education to increase fruit and vegetable intake among children.

Another example of partnerships and social marketing integration is Michigan’s Produce for Pantries, a collaboration between MFF, MDE’s Food Distribution Unit, local food producers, emergency food providers, and communities of faith. The pilot initiative promotes increased fruit and vegetable consumption among emergency food recipients through increased access to fresh produce (environmental change); onsite TLFWY social marketing (environmental change/social marketing); and onsite MiHOTM nutrition education (systems change/direct and indirect nutrition education). Without a doubt, the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework’s MT12 indicator will be a great resource for evaluating Michigan’s campaign.

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