Utah: Evaluation of a novel, low-cost, low-burden, scalable technology for evaluating EFNEP and SNAP-Ed Effectiveness

Carrie Durward, Heidi LeBlanc and Paula Scott, Utah State University; John Hurdle & Patricia Guenther, University of Utah

Abstract

The primary objective of this study was to evaluate a technology for assessing the long-term effectiveness of SNAP-Ed and EFNEP in a novel, inexpensive, and scalable way that does not burden program participants. This novel technology detects changes in grocery purchases using customer loyalty cards to identify households, and can quantify expenditures on food groups of interest. Twelve EFNEP and SNAP-Ed nutrition educators in Utah  recruited a total of 60 program participants. Participants filled out a short survey, which included their grocery loyalty card number or other identifying information that could be used to identify their household’s purchases. The researchers’ plan had been to assess changes in fruit, vegetable, whole grain, and dairy grocery expenditures before and after participating in the nutrition education program. However, the difficulty encountered in working with the grocery store partner resulted in the grant ending before data were delivered by the grocery store partner. The process evaluation found that these study procedures are feasible, though more time than had been anticipated was needed for participant recruitment, that paperwork should be further simplified and minimized, and that dedicated data collection staff should be considered instead of having educators collect data.

Timeline:

  • Start date – July 2015
  • Target completion date – August 2016