Food Hero is a research based Spanish and English language multi-channel social marketing campaign developed by Oregon State University Extension and designed to inconspicuously increase consumption of vegetables and fruits within the targeted audience of SNAP-eligible Oregon moms in an empowering way. All aspects of the campaign are written and designed to be learner centered and actionable. The channels are a website, community programming kits, media, and a monthly message package which includes a social media platform.
Food Hero came about through Oregon SNAP bonus funds received in 2008 through Governor Ted Kulongoski’s health initiative after he experienced how difficult it was to live off the average Food Stamp budget at the time of $3 per day. A needs assessment was conducted through focus groups, phone surveys (n=2332) with SNAP participants and an extensive literature review. The following key results, helped focus the campaign design:
- Moms want to find information about healthy food choices online (46.7%), at grocery stores (16%) and in magazines (12%).
- Moms currently find cooking tips/ideas on web sites (28%) and from friends and family (25%).
- Moms felt they knew how to prepare and eat produce, yet they reported intake below recommended levels.
FoodHero.org is multilingual and features recipes, actionable tips and tools, Food Hero Monthly, and connections to Food Hero social media sites. Food Hero was built from existing materials that were repackaged and rewritten to be current with emerging research on best practices for delivering health education.
On FoodHero.org all states can print off tasty recipes and actionable tips. Recipes have nutrition facts, professional photos, are well tested and follow strict nutritional criteria. Check out our most popular recipe,Chicken, Broccoli & Cheese Skillet Meal. And be sure to follow Food Hero social media sites along with 800+ others!
This article was written and submitted to SNAP-Ed Connection by Lauren Tobey, MS, RD and Elaine Schrumpf, MS of Oregon State University Extension.
Funding: Funding for Food Hero came from USDA Food and Nutrition Service SNAP-Ed plus some supplementary Oregon State University funds and Oregon SNAP funds. Contact: email: Lauren Tobey or phone: 541-737-1017.