Part of the SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions Toolkit.*
Cooking Matters for Healthcare Partners (CMHP) is a direct education and policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) change intervention designed to increase participant consumption of fruits and vegetables by 15% based on the pre-post program surveys, increase participant access to direct nutrition education, and link SNAP/WIC eligible individuals to preventative community health interventions. To achieve these goals, the program couples the evidence-based Cooking Matters for Adults (CMA) curriculum with produce distribution at the end of each class so that participants can practice their cooking skills at home. For six months after completing the CMA class, participants have monthly nutrition education sessions with clinic nutritionists and redeem their produce via voucher redemption at Fresh MARTA Markets. Overall, the program increases access to direct nutrition education and produce in locations where SNAP/WIC eligible individuals seek health services, in order to change participant behaviors relating to fruit and vegetable consumption and food resource management.
Open-ended questions in the midpoint and end line survey tools prompted participants about their satisfaction with the program and potential areas for improvement or change. Feedback from these surveys and comparison data of participants who graduated the program and participants who were lost to follow-up influenced modifications to program implementation and survey tools for following cohorts. For example, participants communicated transportation barriers to attending classes and clinic visits, so programming was modified to make the program locations more accessible to participants. Furthermore, FY2019 data analyses revealed that participants who were lost to follow-up were more likely to classify as food insecure and suffer more severe food insecurity than participants who completed the program. Program partners are using this data to develop additional programming that provides acute support for their most food insecure clients.
Overall, participants showed statistically significant improvements across multiple indicators. These outcomes were assessed when baseline and end line data were used to compare changes in diet, knowledge of healthy eating and shopping practices, confidence in participating in healthy behaviors (like shopping and cooking healthy on a budget), food security, and some biometric markers. For more in-depth discussion of statistical methods and aggregate data for 2019, as well as past cohorts, see the Evaluation Reports on the Wholesome Wave Georgia website.
*SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions: An Obesity Prevention Toolkit for States is a compilation of interventions. The toolkit was developed by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, The Association of SNAP-Ed Nutrition Education Administrators (ASNNA), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Center for Training and Research Translation (Center TRT), and the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR), a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes for Health (NIH), the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the USDA. It is designed and updated to help state SNAP-Ed administrative and implementing agencies identify evidence-based obesity prevention programs and policy, systems, and environmental (PSE) strategies and interventions to include in their SNAP-Ed plans.