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Team Food Deserts. Carolina Aguiar Valerie Caplan Emily Chang Sophia Chang Jennifer Kuo Moses Lahey Rutvij Pandya Kate Richard Kelci Schexnayder Monique Thornton Rachel White Dr. Stephanie Grutzmacher. November 7, 2011. Presentation Overview.

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Team food deserts

Team Food Deserts

Carolina Aguiar

Valerie Caplan

Emily Chang

Sophia Chang

Jennifer Kuo

Moses Lahey


Kate Richard


Monique Thornton

Rachel White

Dr. Stephanie Grutzmacher

November 7, 2011

Presentation overview
Presentation Overview

  • Mission Statement & Literature Review

  • Research Question & Hypothesis

  • Methodology & Research Breakdown

  • Target Population & Markets

  • Data Collection

  • Future Plans

  • Advice to Future Teams

Mission statement
Mission Statement

  • Our research aims to evaluate the issue of healthy food accessibility among lower-income families by analyzing the attitudes and behaviors of federal nutrition program participants at three local farmers’ markets. Specifically, our research addresses the self-efficacy and home nutrition environment of SNAP and WIC users shopping in the farmers’ markets.

Federal nutrition assistance programs
Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs

  • SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

    • EBT: Electronic Benefit Transfer System

  • WIC: Women, Infants, and Children

Literature review
Literature Review

  • Food Insecurity

    • More than 12 million children in the U.S. live in a food insecure household

  • WIC and SNAP

    • In Washington DC, one in five residents are on SNAP benefits

    • Currently, WIC provides for about 9 million women, infants and children every month

  • Farmers’ Markets

    • A pilot program in which each vendor stand had its own EBT machine resulted in increased usage of the farmers’ market

    • Accounted for about $1.2 billion in sales in 2007

Literature review1
Literature Review

  • Perceived self-efficacy: a belief about what one can do under different sets of conditions with whatever skills one possesses

    • influence goals and aspirations

    • shape outcomes people expect their efforts to produce

    • determine how people view obstacles and impediments

  • People with stronger perceived self-efficacy

    • set higher goals for themselves

    • have firmer commitment to them

    • view obstacles as surmountable and tend to stay committed

Research question
Research Question

  • What is the effect of parental self-efficacy on the home nutrition environment? 

    • We have defined the home nutrition environment as a combination of three variables:

      • Perceived barriers to food access

      • Fruit and vegetable offerings in the home

      • Family health behavior


  • Parental self-efficacy will be a significant predictor of the home nutrition environment






Methodology research breakdown
Methodology & Research Breakdown


Initial Survey

Cross-sectional survey. To what extent does a parents’ self-efficacy influence the home-nutrition environment?


Mentor and SPH grad students run a nutrition education program aimed at improving parent self-efficacy with Initial Survey participants. Parents will receive education materials and cooking and shopping tips to use with their children.

Follow-up Survey

What was the participants’ experience with the education program, and have there been any changes in the home nutrition environmental or in parental self-efficacy?


Talk in depth to market coordinators and initial survey participants retained through the market season.


Drop-out Survey

Mail surveys to initial survey participants who did not return to the market about their decision not to complete the program.

Market Analysis

What percent of sales can be attributed to SNAP and WIC shoppers?

Farmers markets
Farmers’ Markets

  • Riverside, Washington, DC

  • Riverdale Park, MD

  • College Park, MD

Target population and recruitment
Target Population and Recruitment

  • Parents enrolled in federal nutrition programs (SNAP or WIC) with:

    • A child or children between the ages of 4 and 10

    • No serious dietary restrictions in the family

  • Cash incentive

    • $5 for initial survey

    • Additional $20 if retained for follow-up survey

Overall data collection
Overall Data Collection

  • 72 total initial survey responses

    • A handful of participants with 100% attendance throughout nutrition education program

    • Other sporadic attendance through market season

  • EBT machine only at one market, expanded our data to include WIC parents as well

  • Currently in the last month of data collection

    • Final nutrition education program meetings

    • Follow-up and drop-out surveys, interviews all forthcoming or currently occurring

Riverside data collection
Riverside Data Collection

  • One vendor with limited fruit and vegetable offerings

  • Only market to accept SNAP benefits

  • June: 34 survey participants

    • July: 3 returners

    • August: 1 returner

    • September: 1 returner

    • October: 0 returners

Riverdale park data collection
Riverdale Park Data Collection

  • Larger market with many offerings

  • Spanish and English speaker survey participants

  • Only accepts WIC benefits

  • June: 37 survey participants

    • 18 English, 19 Spanish

    • July: 19 returners

    • August: 3 returners

    • September: 1 returner

    • October: 1 returner

College park data collection
College Park Data Collection

  • Larger market with offerings

  • Many interested shoppers who did not meet our survey criteria

  • Only accepts WIC benefits

  • 1 survey participant

    • Returned every month

Fall data collection
Fall Data Collection

  • New components to address low retention

    • Drop-out survey

    • Updated follow-up survey

  • Interviews

  • Collecting market sales data

  • Will complete data collection by the end of November

Data analysis
Data Analysis

  • Created database using SPSS

    • Will be analyzing relationship between parental self-efficacy and the home nutrition environment by running regressions

      • Independent variable: self efficacy

      • Dependent variable: home nutrition environment

    • Nutrition education market acceptance of federal nutrition benefits self efficacy

  • Will transcribe and code interviews in atlas.ti

    • Looking for themes in responses


  • Market Coordinators

    • Goals for the market

    • The importance of offering healthy foods to low income individuals

    • Barriers to implementing EBT machines

  • Participants (who attended three or more market sessions)

    • What kept them coming back to the market

    • Whether the nutrition education lessons were useful

    • Comparing the farmers market to their usual shopping location

Team timeline
Team Timeline

Fall 2011

Winter 2012

Spring 2012

Fall 2013

Spring 2013

  • Continue work on thesis

  • Attend local conferences

  • Present at Undergraduate Research Day

  • Polish thesis

  • Submit research to pertinent academic journals

  • Submit material to present at conferences

Advice for future teams
Advice for Future Teams

  • Working with partners and other organizations

    • Communication is key

    • Can gain access to great information

  • Always have a back-up plan

  • Don’t be afraid of social sciences

  • Delegation is key

Thank you to
Thank You To:

  • Dr. Stephanie Grutzmacher, our amazing mentor

  • School of Public Health grad students: Lauren Messina, Stephen Flegg, Katie Spears, Ash Munger, Brian Schram, MicaelaD’Alvinar

  • Spanish translators Meghan Mallari, Elizabeth Rojas, Rene Pizzaro

  • Team librarian Judy Markowitz

  • The Gemstone staff: Dr. Wallace, Rebecca Thomas, Vickie Hill

  • Partners: Maryland Food Supplement Education, Prince George’s County Extension, Maryland Department of Agriculture, Riverdale Park Farmers’ Market, College Park Farmers’ Market, Riverside Farmers’ Market


  • Glanz, K., J.F. Sallis, B.E. Saelens, and L.D. Frank. 2005. Healthy nutrition environments: Concepts and measures. American Journal of Health Promotion 19:330-333.

  • Hu, F.B., and W.C. Willett. 2002. Optimal diets for prevention of coronary heart disease. Journal of the American Medical Association 288:2569-2578.

  • Just, R., & Weninger, Q. (1997). Economic evaluation of the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 79(3), 902. Retrieved from Business Source Premier database.

  • Kunkel, Mary E., Lucia, Barbara, Moore, Archie C. (2003). Evaluation of the South Carolina Seniors Farmers' Market Nutrition Education Program. Journal of the American Dietetic association 103(7), 880- 883. doi:10.1016/S0002-8223(03)00379-1.


  • United States. Department of Agriculture. Agricultural Marketing Service & Nutrition Service Project or Public Spaces, Inc. (2010, June). Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) At Farmers Markets: A How-To Handbook.Retrieved October 25, 2010 from the United States Department of Agriculture website:

  • Vozoris, N., & Tarasuk, V. (2003). Household food insufficiency is associated with poor health.The Journal of Nutrition, 133, 120–126.

  • Whitacre, P., Tsai, P., Mulligan, J., Institute of Medicine (U.S.). Board on Population Health and Public Health Practice., National Research Council (U.S.). Food and Nutrition Board., & National Research Council (U.S.). Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources. (2009).The public health effects of food deserts : workshop summary. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.

  • Yu, ManSoo, Lombe, Margaret, Nebbitt, Von E. (2010). “Food stamp program participation, informal supports, household food security and child food security: A comparison of African American andCaucasian households in poverty.” Children and Youth Services Review(32) 767–773. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2010.01.015.

    • Used data from the 2003 Food Security Survey, a supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) (N=3,799