Abstract| Volume 54, ISSUE 7, SUPPLEMENT , S12, July 2022

O23 Perceived Stress in Rural and Suburban Dwelling Participants After a Meal Kit Intervention


      Stress is associated with unhealthy eating behaviors, which increases risk for chronic disease. People with low income face many stressors, such as decreased access to healthy food. Recent research suggests that providing healthy meal kits may decrease perceived stress (PS) of main preparers of food with low income, but more research is needed.


      To evaluate the impact of a healthy, meal kit intervention on PS of main preparers of food from diverse families with low income in different communities.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      Two waves of participants from rural (N = 23) and suburban (N = 36) communities completed a six-week meal kit intervention that provided three meals per week. Demographic data were collected at baseline, and PS surveys were collected at baseline and post-intervention.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      Demographic data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Frequency statistical analysis evaluated changes in PS overall and per site. Paired sample t-tests were run to ascertain if there was a significant difference in PS from baseline to post-intervention.


      Participants were primarily female (89.8%), on average 46.21 ± 13.1 years old, primarily non-Hispanic (98.3%) and black (37.3%) or white (33.9%) with an average household size of 4.4 ± 1.6. Most (98.3%) fell below 200% of the federal poverty line for a household size of four. At post-intervention, most participants (67.8%) reported a decrease in overall PS. Participants experienced a decrease in PS from baseline (19.17 ± 7.34) to post-intervention (16.17 ± 6.85), t(58) = 3.964, P < 0.001. When split by community, suburban participants (72.2%) had a higher reduction of PS than rural participants (60.9%). There was no difference in PS between communities.


      The overall reduction of PS from baseline to post-intervention suggests that the meal kit intervention positively impacted PS and did so similarly between the two communities. Future research should seek to explore the mechanism behind the decrease in PS.


      Walmart Foundation.


      Supplementary data related to this article can be found at