P144 A Heathy Meal Kit Intervention Improves Subjective Social Status of Rural and Suburban Participants with Low-income


      The MacArthur Scale of Subjective Social Status (SSS) is a two-item measure that assesses a participant's perceived rank relative to a group and is positively correlated with a participant's mental and physical health.


      To evaluate the impact of a meal kit intervention on SSS of participants with low income in two communities.

      Study Design, Setting, Participants

      Main preparers of food from rural (n = 40) and suburban (n = 23) communities with low income and at least one child, recruited through local partners, participated in a six-week meal kit intervention. Weekly kits contained three recipes with enough ingredients to feed a family of four. Participants completed a demographic and SSS survey at baseline and post-intervention. Participants ranked themselves on a scale of 1-10 correlating with how highly they perceived themselves as members of their community and society.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      An independent samples t-test was conducted to determine differences in SSS at baseline between communities. A paired samples t-test was used to determine differences between baseline and post-intervention SSS scores for each community.


      Participants were 46.1 ± 12.8 years, primarily female (88%) and non-Hispanic (98.4%). A majority (85.7%) of participants reported an annual income below $35,000. Overall participant SSS scores improved from baseline to post-intervention from 4.7 ± 1.8 to 5.1 ± 1.7 (P = 0.008) within the community and 4.4 ± 1.7 to 4.9 ± 1.7 (P = 0.049) within society. Rural participant community and society SSS scores improved from baseline to post-intervention (5.1 ± 1.9 to 5.6 ± 1.6; P = 0.008 and 4.6 ± 1.6 to 5.3 ± 1.7; P = 0.024, respectively). Suburban participant SSS scores did not improve.


      This intervention improved perceived SSS, which was largely driven by rural participants. Rural residents may have less access to resources such as a meal kit program potentially leading to a stronger improvement in SSS. These data suggest that access to a novel food program typically not accessible to SNAP-eligible families may improve perceived social standing and subsequently health outcomes, which warrants further research.


      Walmart Foundation


      Supplementary data related to this article can be found at