Rural Child Hunger Summit: Spotlight on the Promises and Pitfalls of SNAP Online Grocery Shopping

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Many states have chosen to offer online purchasing to SNAP participants in the past year as the pandemic has put an even greater spotlight on food access. Dr. Alison Gustafson from the University of Kentucky will discuss the current landscape of SNAP online ordering in rural communities. This session will focus on what has been learned so far from SNAP online ordering, barriers to SNAP online purchasing, and opportunities to improve access and purchasing options in rural areas.

Did you know? In 2019, Share Our Strength and Feeding America partnered with a team of researchers from six universities on an in-depth qualitative study to explore what makes it easier or harder for families in rural areas to provide food for their kids. Here’s what we found.

Resources:

  1. Rummo PE, Bragg MA, Yi SS. Supporting Equitable Access During National Emergencies - the promise of online grocery shopping and food delivery services. Jama Health Forum 2020. https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2763856
  2. Online Grocery Retailers Undermining Healthy Eating, According to CSPI Market Scan. 2020. (Accessed January 6, 2021, 2021, at https://cspinet.org/news/online-grocery-retailers-undermining-healthy-eating-according-cspi-marketplace-scan-20200107.)
  3. Brandt EJ, Silvestri DM, Mande JR, Holland ML, Ross JS. Availability of Grocery Delivery to Food Deserts in States Participating in the Online Purchase Pilot. JAMA Netw Open 2019;2:e1916444. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2756107
  4. Martinez O, Tagliaferro B, Rodriguez N, Athens J, Abrams C, Elbel B. EBT Payment for Online Grocery Orders: a Mixed-Methods Study to Understand Its Uptake among SNAP Recipients and the Barriers to and Motivators for Its Use. J Nutr Educ Behav 2018;50:396-402 e1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1499404617309521
  5. Moran AJ, Gu Y, Clynes S, Goheer A, Roberto CA, Palmer A. Associations between Governmental Policies to Improve the Nutritional Quality of Supermarket Purchases and Individual, Retailer, and Community Health Outcomes: An Integrative Review. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020;17 https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/17/20/7493/htm
  6. Coffino JA, Udo T, Hormes JM. Nudging while online grocery shopping: A randomized feasibility trial to enhance nutrition in individuals with food insecurity. Appetite 2020;152:104714. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0195666319313960?via%3Dihub
  7. Cohen Nevin FTK, Arnow Chloe, Mulcahy Michelle, Hille Christophe. Online Grocery Shoppng by NYC Public Housing Residents Using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits: A Service Ecosystems Perspective. Sustainability 2020;12. https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/12/11/4694/htm
  8. Jilcott Pitts SB, Ng SW, Blitstein JL, Gustafson A, Niculescu M. Online grocery shopping: promise and pitfalls for healthier food and beverage purchases. Public Health Nutr 2018;21:3360-76. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/online-grocery-shopping-promise-and-pitfalls-for-healthier-food-and-beverage-purchases/00D984E81BCD38FD733A35147078BC58
  9. Melis K CK, Lien L. The Impact of the multi-channel Retail Mix on Online Store Choice: Does Online Experience Matter? Journal of Retailing 2015;91:272-88. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S002243591400092X

Speakers:

Karen WongKaren Wong, Senior Manager of Research and Evaluation, Share Our Strength

Karen Wong, MHS, is a Senior Manager of Research and Evaluation for the No Kid Hungry campaign at Share Our Strength. She manages research initiatives to inform interventions and assess the impact of the No Kid Hungry campaign’s efforts to increase food access. Prior to joining Share Our Strength, Karen conducted research and analysis of SNAP policy while at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and evaluated universal school meals programming as an Emerson Fellow with the Congressional Hunger Center. She also worked on poverty reduction initiatives addressing food, health, and housing policy while at Catholic Charities USA.

Dr. Alison GustafsonDr. Alison Gustafson, Buster Endowed Professor, Dietetics and Human Nutrition, University of Kentucky

Alison Gustafson, PhD, MPH, RD is an Associate Professor and Buster Endowed Professor at the University of Kentucky in the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition. Her research focuses on how various components of the food environment are on the pathway to poor dietary outcomes among rural and geographically isolated communities. Dr. Gustafson is the Principal Investigator on a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention High Obesity Program (HOP-1807) grant working to improve environmental infrastructure in Martin County, KY, as well as several USDA and NIH grants. She was most recently awarded a Share Our Strength grant testing the effectiveness of an online grocery shopping intervention among rural and urban residents. She will be part of a discussion focusing on the current Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) online grocery shopping e orts across the United States. Dr. Gustafson will also share how this work is framing future research related to online grocery shopping and policy relevance for hunger relief.