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MT2: Food Resource Management*

Framework Component

Changes - Nutrition-Related Behavioral Changes

Indicator Description

Changes in individual and family behaviors that reflect smarter shopping and food resource management strategies, enabling participants to stretch their food resource dollars to support a healthier diet.

*SNAP-Ed Priority Outcome Indicator

Background and Context

Indicator MT2 measures behavioral changes resulting from smarter shopping and food resource management (FRM) strategies used when purchasing foods for consumption at home. State SNAP Agencies will particularly find the results of this indicator useful in ensuring SNAP participants, or those who are potentially eligible, are stretching their food dollars and making healthful purchases.

Similar to MT1, this indicator measures changes reported by participants before and after participation in a series of nutrition education and food resource management classes. Two common survey questions for this indicator are using nutrition facts labels or shopping with a grocery list. A more sophisticated interpretation of this measure entails multiple survey questions using a Likert-type scale. Using multiple measures of related behavioral changes strengthens the likelihood of determining that participants are more frequently using targeted shopping and food resource management practices.

Outcome Measures

The number or percentage of participants reporting a food resource management behavior during the period assessed, the frequency, and the type of behavior(s):

Healthful Shopping Practices:

  • MT2a. Choose healthy foods for my family on a budget
  • MT2b. Read nutrition facts labels or nutrition ingredients lists
  • MT2c. Buy 100 percent whole grain products
  • MT2d. Buy low-fat dairy or milk products
  • MT2e. Buy foods with lower added:
    • 2e1. Solid fats (saturated and/or trans)
    • 2e2. Sugar
    • 2e3. Salt/sodium
  • MT2f. Buy fruits and vegetables-fresh, frozen, dried or canned in 100% juice

Stretch Food Dollars:

  • MT2g. Not run out of food before month's end
  • MT2h. Compare prices before buying foods
  • MT2i.  Identify foods on sale or use coupons to save money
  • MT2j. Shop with a list
  • MT2k. Batch cook (cook once; eat many times)
  • MT2l. Use unit pricing to find best values
  • MT2m. Cook healthy foods on a budget

What to Measure

SNAP-Ed participants who report one or more targeted food resource management behaviors during the period assessed. Choose at least one outcome measure from the list provided and select a measurement approach based upon the type of survey question and responses. For a description on ordinal and nominal outcomes, please see Appendix D. Evaluators should prioritize survey questions that provide a range of options, often appearing in a Likert scale or along a continuum, such as frequency responses (e.g., never, seldom, sometimes, etc.) that use a Likert-type scale. These response options are more sensitive to detecting change than questions with "yes" or "no" answers.

At present, there is no standardized survey instrument or composite score used in SNAP-Ed programming due to the variety of curricula and population subgroups served. However, Land-grant Institutions (cooperative extension system) that conduct Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) classes, as well as other Implementing Agencies, may find it practical and cost-effective to use the same EFNEP food resource management questions in SNAP-Ed. Evaluators are also encouraged to measure the degree of correlation among the individual measures presented in this indicator.

The survey and data collection tools used to measure and assess maintenance of behavior changes in in MT2 should be used in LT2 when assessing long-term change (6 months or longer).


Adults (ages 18+) and high school students or transitional-aged youth who are the primary shoppers/meal preparers

Surveys and Data Collection Tools

Key Glossary Terms

Food resource management (FRM)

Additional Resources or Supporting Citations

The Food and Nutrition Service's SNAP-Ed Connection maintains a page of resources on Food Resource Management:

Hersey J, Anliker J, Miller C, Mullis RM, Daugherty S, Das S, et al. Food Shopping Practices Are Associated with Dietary Quality in Low-Income Households. Journal of Nutrition Education 2001; 33(Supplement 1):S16-S26. Available at: