College of Social Work
Non Technical Summary
We propose to use a community-based participatory action research (CBPAR) approach with intergenerational strategies to increase healthy food access, consumption and education for at-risk young children and their families living in high poverty areas in Columbus, Ohio and Lynchburg, Virginia. Specifically, we will partner with community stakeholders and four early childhood centers, two in each state, in a process of planning, program development, implementation, and examination of results followed by adaptation of activities. Evidence-based intergenerational programming methods will be integrated into activities, and the abilities of young children, elders, and their families will be harnessed. Community partners include experts in early childhood development, nutrition and food security, community engagement, and intergenerational programming. Efforts will incorporate the SNAP-Ed and EFNEP curricula and standard USDA instruments of food security and behavior change. The SNAP-Ed and EFNEP outcome measures will be adapted not only to collect information from families, but also from preschool children. A delayed treatment design of introducing the intergenerational approaches at two sites initially, while utilizing the others as comparisons, will be used to examine the benefits of incorporating elders in the activities. All four sites will engage in the intergenerational programming in Year 3. The CBPAR process will develop and enhance long-term sustainable networks of early childhood educator, food, and community stakeholders supporting the continuation of programming after grant funding has ended. This project supports the National CYFAR Outcome to reduce food insecurity by increasing access, consumption, and nutritional education to improve health in early childhood.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories
Goals / Objectives
We propose to use a community-based participatory action research (CBPAR) approach withintergenerational strategies to increase healthy food access, consumption and education for at-risk young children and their families living in high poverty areas in Columbus, Ohio and Lynchburg, Virginia. Specifically, we will partner with community stakeholders and four early childhood centers, two in each state, in a process of planning, program development, implementation, and examination of results followed by adaptation of activities.Short Term ObjectivesYoung children, elders and their families will increase their access to nutritional food as measured by a program participation tracking system, participant questionnaires and semistructured interviews and focus groups.Young children, elders' and families' nutrition-based knowledge will increase and attitudes and behaviors will improve as evidenced by participant questionnaires, semistructured interviews and focus groups, and observations.Intergenerational best practices will be implemented in the nutritional interventions as indicated by administrative program tracking.Long Term ObjectivesFood, early childhood, social services and OSU Extension and VA Cooperative Extension will provide better coordinated, sustainable services as evidenced by the establishment and reporting of food networks/coalitions in the communities where the sites are located.Intergenerational approaches to addressing food security and nutrition challenges of young children and their families will be integrated in the communities where the program sites are located as evidenced by the development and implementation of new intergenerational approaches used by the food networks/collaborations.
EffortsA child's contact with the program will be twice weekly activities lasting 30-minutes, with at least one activity being intergenerational (IG). Older adult participants' contact will be 1-2 times weekly for 30-minutes. Family carers' contact with the program will be at least twice monthly, and contact may be through electronic or print material or site-based (sorting donated food or attending a cooking demonstration). Staff members, administrators, and stakeholders' contact with Food for a Long Life program content will vary depending on the individual's role. For example, the children's teachers and elder program staff will have weekly contact of 30-90 minutes per activity (including preparation and documentation). Administrators and stakeholders will have quarterly contact with project members via conference calls, face-to-face meetings, or scheduled programming.Curriculum for young children and families will include accessible, culturally relevant nutrition, resource management, and food handling opportunities. Activities will be hands-on, interactive, empowering (with knowledge and choice), and incorporate participants' interests and histories. The program content will be driven by the existing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) curriculum utilized in each state, and will reflect the ages and abilities of participants. Staff will facilitate activities to support interaction between child and elder partners. High- and low-technology tools will be incorporated regularly. Curriculum for service providers will be just-in-time training that addresses nutrition, food security, and IG best practices via quarterly in-service sessions and distance education. SNAP-Ed and EFNEP utilizes a train the trainer model to deliver curricula. Extension professionals will train teachers to implement nutrition programming incorporating IG programming.EvaluationIncreased access to nutritional foods by participants will be measured annually starting in Year 2 with standard measures of household food security: (a) USDA US Household Food Security Survey, (b) Household Food Insecurity Access Scale, and (c) Food Security Survey Module for children. Existing pantry tracking systems starting in year 1 and repeated annually will report age, gender, and household information on participants. Program participation logs (dosage) will be completed by staff for each activity to indicate participation and increased access to nutritional foods.Increased nutrition-based knowledge and behaviors among participants will be measured annually starting in year two with modified existing SNAP-Ed and EFNEP outcome measures including the EFNEP Behavior Checklist, USDA Food Frequency Questionnaires, EFNEP Eating Right Survey, and Guidelines for Measuring Household and Individual Dietary Diversity. Program participation logs (dosage) will be completed by staff for each activity to indicate participation and increased nutrition-based knowledge and behaviors. Finally, participant and staff focus groups will be conducted annually starting in year 2 to address barriers to food access and effective implementation of the activities and technology, the utility of intergenerational strategies, and perceived impact on young children, elders, families, and staff.Increased use of intergenerational best practices by program staff and volunteers will be measured with quizzes completed by all site staff and volunteers (who may complete an abbreviated curriculum) as part of the intergenerational best practices curriculum. Staff will complete an intergenerational Best Practices checklist for each activity reflecting child and elder participation, program staffing, and self-assessed use of best practices. Finally, direct observations of child and elder participants and staff behaviors during programming using the Intergenerational Observation Scale will be conducted monthly by trained observers.Data analysis of qualitative data (e.g., focus groups) will involve content analysis of transcripts, looking for themes of barriers, successes, and impacts. Some quantitative data (e.g., the Household Food Inecurity Access Scale) will be analyzed with measures of central tendencies and correlations with repeated measures analysis between groups. Regression models will be tested to examine predictors of program outcomes (e.g., with the participation logs, Best Practices Checklist, Intergenerational Observation Scale, and nutrition-based knowledge and behavior measures), looking at intraindividual change and site differences.