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P130 Nutrition Education With Seniors (NEWS)—Helping Older Adults with Limited Resources Make Informed Food Choices

      Objective

      The Nutrition Education with Seniors (NEWS) program aims to enhance Commodity and Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) participant nutrition and health knowledge, and their ability to alter their present food habits to include the CSFP foods.

      Use of Theory or Research

      NEWS is based on the Health Belief Model and addresses the 3 HBM constructs: individual perceptions, modifying factors, and likelihood of action.

      Target Audience

      NEWS is for adults age 50+ years who are enrolled in the local CSFP; currently ∼3,200 older adults are enrolled.

      Program Description

      NEWS is the required monthly CSFP nutrition education. NEWS is a monthly 2-page newsletter that provides nutrition, usage, and storage information pertaining to the monthly featured commodity food, food safety, or budget-friendly tips and an easy, low-cost healthy recipe. NEWS is distributed to CSFP participants at their monthly pick-up. At pick-up, CSFP staff provide participants with a sample of the monthly recipe; ∼1,300 CSFP participants attend.

      Evaluation Methods

      Each quarter, CSFP staff distribute program evaluations to CSFP participants at the time of the food pick-up. These evaluations inquire about recipe use, application 28 information contained in the newsletter, and recipe demonstration participation.

      Results

      To date (2014 to 2019), 3,809 NEWS participants have completed an evaluation. The majority of respondents are female (62.8%) between ages 60 and 69 years who attended at least 1 recipe tasting in the last 3 months (45.4%). The majority of respondents have used the NEWS newsletter information to make food choices (80.7%) and found the food assistance information and/or budget-friendly shopping tips useful (89.1%). Additionally, 89.4% enjoyed the monthly recipe samples with 60.8% making at least 1 of the NEWS recipes at home.

      Conclusions

      These findings suggest the NEWS program is effective in promoting informed food selection and awareness of food assistance resources, and encouraging the use of commodity foods through new recipes among older adults enrolled in the CSFP.
      Funding Polk County, Iowa through the Department of Community, Family and Youth Services’ Senior Services and Commodity Supplemental Foods Programs (CSFP).

      Appendix. Supplementary data