By: Nick Halasz, RD
Recently, I was hired by Food & Friends to spearhead a one of a kind study measuring the impact of their nutrition services. When I arrived, I learned that Food & Friends became the recipient of a $200,000 grant from Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States to fund our popular Groceries-to-Go (GTG) program and a nutrition outcomes research study. GTG is our program designed for clients and their families who are healthy enough to prepare their own meals, or who have a caregiver to do so.
This study will be used to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of our services on our clients by measuring changes in nutrition knowledge and behavior. That’s where I come in. As one of the newest members of Food & Friends, I’m excited to be a part of the first ever study of its kind for our organization. Our team has been working hard to recruit clients receiving GTG to take part in the study. I will be hosting cooking classes, leading grocery store tours and conducting tele-seminars for clients to call in and discuss a variety of nutrition topics. We hope to not only increase the nutrition knowledge of our clients, but to identify areas of improvement within the Food & Friends nutrition education program to strengthen services for future clients.
We are excited to begin sending out our initial survey to clients who have kindly agreed to participate. This unique data collected will help set Food & Friends apart among those organizations in the Washington, DC area providing meals and nutrition services for those in need. Most importantly, the study will allow Food & Friends to better serve those we come to work for everyday; our clients. Having solid research and data to back-up this mission will allow us to continue to receive funding to serve clients healthy, nutritious meals, as well as the highest quality nutritional services.