Part of the SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions Toolkit*.
EatFresh.org is mobile-friendly website that was created for the SNAP-Ed population and the organizations that serve them. It provides practical resources and encouragement for individuals with varying levels of digital literacy, internet access, health awareness and culinary skills. EatFresh.org is a stand-alone indirect education resource, an extender for direct education interventions, and a useful tool for a variety of PSE strategies. Partners throughout California use EatFresh.org as a tool to direct their participants to healthy recipes during nutrition workshops, to look up preparation and storage tips for food received at food banks, and to apply for SNAP/Calfresh. They promote the website by distributing recipe cards at health fairs and other indirect events and refer clients to the EatFresh.org Mini Course as a flexible direct education resource. The EatFresh.org Mini Course is a free online direct education course that features 15 SNAP-Ed self-paced topics that can be completed in any order.
EatFresh.org includes culturally-competent and budget-friendly recipes, meal plans, links to discover foods, Ask a Dietitian online, healthy lifestyle messaging pages, and local resources for California residents.
- Pilot Tested
A 2014 impact evaluation found that the EatFresh.org website was well received by its users and utilized (over 50,000 unique users had accessed the site since launch on October 1, 2013). Recipes were the most popular feature and there was a general increase in users’ nutrition-related knowledge and skills, like reading a nutrition label and avoiding foods with added sugar, salt, and fat.
A 2016 pilot study of the EatFresh.org Mini Course (n=99) found statistically significant results among three indicators: knowledge for calculating sugar in drinks, recognizing fats in three similar dairy products, and recalling the number of sodium milligrams in a cup of carrots. Other significant findings included showing high confidence in using unit pricing while shopping, reading nutrition labels for sodium, fats, and fiber; a readiness for eating whole wheat tortillas, drinking reduced-fat milk, and eating brown rice; and using MyPlate food groups for a healthy breakfast. Overall, 83% of participants strongly agreed or agreed that they learned at least one new healthy message from each topic in the course.
The effectiveness of EatFresh.org was evaluated by Weinreich Communications (funded by Aetna Foundation), specifically looking at:
- Website and social media usage tracking
- Website user satisfaction survey
- Key informant interviews
- Focus groups
- Knowledge, Attitude, and Behavior (KAB) survey
The EatFresh.org Mini Course pilot evaluation was analyzed by Dan Perales (Perales Associates Evaluation Services). The pre- and post-test questionnaires are used within the EatFresh.org Mini Course and are available for use by any organization promoting the Mini Course. Through the use of referral codes (provided by Leah’s Pantry), Leah’s Pantry can share evaluation data for users of the course who identify with an organization’s referral code. Evaluation data includes data required for federal SNAP-Ed reporting, as well as short-term indicators relating to confidence and intent to make healthy food and drink choices.
* 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 designated 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.