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P133 Pivoting to Online Nutrition Education During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Results and Lessons Learned from Cooking Matters

      Objective

      Evaluate the process and outcomes associated with pivoting Cooking Matters curriculum to online nutrition education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

      Use of Theory or Research

      Cooking Matters uses evidence-based curricula built upon the Social Cognitive Theory, with a focus on increasing self-efficacy through participatory food skills education to enable positive behavior change.

      Target Audience

      Low-income adults, parents and caregivers, and families receiving services or programming from schools and community-based organizations across the United States from June 2020 until June 2021.

      Program Description

      Cooking Matters curriculum was pivoted to an online nutrition education setting at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to teach participants how to shop for and prepare healthy meals on a limited budget.

      Evaluation Methods

      With support from IMPAQ International, LLC (a third-party evaluator), Cooking Matters online delivered programming was evaluated through 9,187 participant surveys completed post-participation and through virtual/Zoom in-depth interviews with 24 individuals from 13 partner organizations implementing the curricula.

      Results

      Participants reported high confidence to apply food skills such as making mealtimes positive and high intention to use food skills in the future such as money-saving tips. Over 90% of participants were satisfied with the instructor and class environment. Partners described that online programming accommodated more participants due to lack of physical space limitations, was convenient for participants because it decreased travel time, allowed for food preparation in participants' kitchens, was more burdensome for staff, decreased curriculum engagement at times, and did not foster the same communal ties as in-person.

      Conclusions

      Online delivery allowed Cooking Matters to continue offering programming during the pandemic. To ensure responsiveness to participant and partner needs, we centered the voice of our end users, developed nutrition education reflective of these unique needs and desires, and released our new online approach focusing on digital delivery. Based on this evaluation, Cooking Matters will continue supporting partners in delivering virtual programming as an additional means of reaching busy parents and caregivers.

      Funding

      None

      SUPPLEMENTARY DATA

      Supplementary data related to this article can be found at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneb.2022.04.174.

      Appendix. SUPPLEMENTARY DATA