Part of the SNAP-Ed Strategies & Interventions Toolkit.*
Voices for Food (VFF) is a PSE change intervention designed to enhance food security in diverse rural communities with high poverty rates, utilize community coaches to develop new or provide support to existing food councils, and encourage policy changes in local food pantries that increase the availability of healthy foods. VFF focuses on the engagement of community coaches with communities to achieve intervention objectives while utilizing VFF materials. Community coaches address food system issues by focusing on local food policy and making environmental changes, such as community gardens, aiding the food pantry in obtaining more space, and working on other issues of food security. Community coaches work collaboratively with food pantries to make PSE changes that transition to a client choice model of distribution (MyChoice) and offer the VFF Ambassador’s training, which includes nutrition education, cultural competency training, and food safety training.
VFF utilized a longitudinal matched intervention and comparison evaluation plan design that tested all levels of the intervention, including how well it serves the target audience and fits into the intended setting. At the community level and pantry levels, a Food Council Scorecard and MyChoice Pantry Scorecard were developed, tested and used to assess the degree of implementation of the intervention. The results of both scorecards allowed the project team to assess the differences between treatment and comparison communities, which ultimately show that the VFF intervention was effective in helping communities develop new or strengthen existing food councils and transition to MyChoice. These results were used to update and finalize the VFF intervention and VFF materials.
*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.