Sun, 20 Jun 2021

OMAHA, NE / ACCESSWIRE / June 8, 2021 / The Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition has selected four food banks as recipients of Rooted in Evidence, a grant and evaluation program designed to help extend programming and expand resources for food-insecure families. The food banks will each receive $25,000, in addition to in-kind evaluation support.

'The pandemic has reversed more than a decade of progress made toward increasing food security in the U.S.,' Executive Director Amy Yaroch of the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition said. 'We all play a role in creating the future we deserve-where no one is hungry and everyone has access to healthy food. Food banks are among those who have risen to the occasion in our communities. We are proud to help these four food banks drive their missions forward.'

Recipients of the grant and their respective projects include:

Chester County Food Bank (Exton, Pa.)

The Chester County Food Bank will expand its EatFresh program and add a hybrid model for virtual and in-person education. EatFresh offers culturally tailored nutrition education and cooking classes emphasizing whole foods, local produce, cultural traditions and community building. The program also includes 20 pounds of fresh, often local, produce, recipe cards and other materials for participants to use at home.

FeedMore WNY (Buffalo, N.Y.)

FeedMore WNY will connect participants in the health care network with nutrition education, access to healthy food, and tracking, tips and support to accomplish behavioral change through its Food Farmacy program. This Food Rx program serves patients and community walk-ins identified as food insecure.

Houston Food Bank (Houston, Texas)

The Houston Food Bank plans to grow its Core Connections Network's eight-week chronic disease self-management curriculum and food distribution to a new community resource center. This Food Rx program offers education that helps parents access dietary and wellness resources to best use the food from its Backpack Buddy weekend meal program for children.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida (Orlando, Fla.)

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida is working to enhance nutrition education and train student market managers to implement nutrition nudges within their student-led school pantries and fresh produce distributions as part of their School Partnerships Program. Students are empowered to take ownership of the Fresh Market and build skills in program coordination, marketing and communications, food safety and inventory/budget management.

As part of Rooted in Evidence, the four grantees will receive technical assistance and evaluation support in kind from the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition.

'By providing food banks with the tools necessary to measure the impact of their programs, while simultaneously building internal capacity for measurement and evaluation, it will better help the communities served. Food banks also will be positioned to show their programs' impact for future funders and other relevant community members,' Yaroch said.

Over the past 10 years, food insecurity has been a core focus area for the Gretchen Swanson Center. There continues to be a great need to research the upstream influences that cause food insecurity as well as innovative solutions to address this public health concern. Before the pandemic, one in eight Americans was food insecure. Rates have now tripled. Food insecurity also is experienced in larger proportion by racial and ethnic groups-stemming from structural racism and discrimination.

'Families that struggle with food insecurity often have to make tradeoffs with other basic needs such as medical care, utilities or housing. We also know that poor access to healthy foods significantly contributes to chronic diseases and conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and various forms of cancer,' former grantee and current Adjunct Research Scientist Betsy Anderson Steeves of the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition said.

The 16-month grant cycle began June 1 and concludes September 30, 2022. Rooted in Evidence is funded by the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition Foundation and has a total value of $200,000, including in-kind support.

Those seeking more information about the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition and the Rooted in Evidence Grant and Evaluation Program can visit

Based in Omaha, Nebraska, the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition is an independent research institution providing scientific expertise, partnership and resources to improve diet and physical activity behaviors among youth and their families to help grow a healthier next generation. The Center partners with organizations across the U.S., focusing on healthy eating, active living, food security, policy advocacy and health equity.

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Amanda Schneider
Marketing and Communications Manager

SOURCE: Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition

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