July 2013

When it Comes to Nutrition, Cooking Matters
Altarum’s Center for Food and Nutrition (CFAN) is working with Share our Strength to develop a methodology for its new Cooking Matters at the Store program. Cooking Matters® helps families make healthy and affordable choices at the supermarket, such as buying fruits and vegetables on a budget, comparing units and measurements, reading food labels, and identifying whole grain foods.  To find out more, visit Cooking Matters or read more.

Free Tools for Your WIC Program
The Women, Infants, and Children Program is committed to ensuring that its participants have a positive experience when receiving services and interacting with program staff. CFAN and the WIC programs in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and West Virginia have produced an interactive training toolkit to ensure that WIC participants have a positive experience when interacting with program staff. With sixteen 30-minute training modules under seven different topics, such as “Dealing with Difficult Situations” and “Understanding Your WIC Customer,” this multi-media toolkit—now available free of charge on the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) WIC Works Resource System website—provides facilitator’s guides, activities, and videos of real WIC staff and participants demonstrating quality customer service. 

Promoting Healthy Eating in SNAP: Altarum's CFAN Hosts Policy Roundtable

In one of Altarum's most successful roundtables, CFAN, and a host of leading nutrition experts, recently convened in Washington, DC to examine innovative approaches, including financial incentives, to encourage healthy food choices by SNAP program participants. Watch a video of the proceedings, read more, or contact CFAN today for additional information.

Conference News

CFAN’s Loren Bell attended the 7th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference June 18–20 in Long Beach, California. CFAN displayed two posters sessions at the conference. The first highlighted the findings of A Study to Enhance American Indian Access to the Revised WIC Food Package on the acceptance of and access to WIC foods on Tribal lands, which is supported by funding from the Aetna Foundation and internal contributions by Altarum.

The second poster session showcased the National Worksite Breastfeeding Support for Hourly Wage Employees initiative. CFAN and Every Mother, Inc. have partnered on this project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health to develop online resources that showcase creative solutions for businesses to support employees who are nursing their babies.

CFAN will next participate in the National WIC Association’s Technology and Program Integrity Conference taking place September 17–20 in Dallas, Texas. CFAN senior team members will present findings on three studies: 2013 WIC Vendor Management Study, funded by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS); WIC Vendor Management Best Practices, also funded by USDA FNS; and An Examination of WIC Participant Redemption Patterns Prior To and After Implementation of Electronic Benefits Transfer, funded by the USDA Economic Research Service.

Partner Spotlight

Share Our Strength began in the basement of a row house on Capitol Hill in 1984, in response to the ‘84–‘85 famine in Ethiopia. Brother and sister Bill and Debbie Shore started the organization with the belief that everyone has a strength to share in the global fight against hunger and poverty, and that in these shared strengths lie sustainable solutions. Today SOS focuses these strengths on making No Kid Hungry a reality in America.


April 2013

Food Delivery Summit at NWA Leadership Conference
Altarum’s Center for Food and Nutrition (CFAN) recently coordinated “WIC to Table: Advancing Food Delivery,” a national summit hosted by the National WIC Association (NWA) on March 5th in Washington, D.C.  The summit provided a forum for more than 200 state and local WIC and NWA partners to discuss opportunities for increasing the purchase and consumption of fruits and vegetables by WIC participants and improving the shopping experience for WIC families. Learn more.

WIC Foods on Tribal Lands
CFAN is conducting a study to enhance American Indian access to revised WIC food packages.  The study, supported by Aetna Foundation, includes extensive onsite data collection in and around three local WIC programs in the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona.

They Learn From Watching You
CFAN is working with the Michigan Nutrition Network (MNN) to evaluate the They Learn From Watching You campaign. Additionally, CFAN is providing technical assistance and evaluation expertise for MNN’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Come See Us in Little Rock
CFAN will be a pre-conference workshop facilitator, exhibitor, and poster session presenter at the NWA 2013 Annual Education and Networking Conference, April 14-17 in Little Rock, Arkansas. NWA’s “theme” for this year’s conference is “Discovering the Treasures of WIC.”

Join Altarum Institute, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Fair Food Network, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Grantmakers In Health, on May 14th as we examine innovative approaches, including financial incentives, to encourage healthy food choices by SNAP program participants.  Click here for more information.

CFAN Awards
CFAN team member, Brenda Wolford, MS, RD, has been selected as the 2013 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Young Dietician of the Year for California. She was selected as a result of her “outstanding service to your organization and your achievements in the profession of dietetics.” Ms. Wolford joined Altarum Institute in January 2013 as a policy associate in support of CFAN’s research and technical assistance projects for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Partner Spotlight
Fair Food Network is a national nonprofit that works at the intersection of food systems, sustainability and social equity to guarantee access to healthy, fresh and sustainably grown food, especially in underserved communities. Learn more at our Roundtable, May 14th.


January 2013

Welcome to the first newsletter from Altarum Institute’s Center for Food and Nutrition!
Altarum Institute’s Center for Food and Nutrition (CFAN) is a national leader in rigorous evaluation research, technical assistance, and training designed to strengthen food assistance and nutrition programs, particularly for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). We have worked with federal and state WIC and SNAP programs for more than 18 years, providing policy and operational analysis, strategic planning, and assessment of nutrition education interventions. Learn more.

CFAN would love to work with your program to promote positive nutrition outcomes! Contact us for more information.

SNAP Education (SNAP-Ed) Transformation
In 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service contracted with CFAN on a 3-year study to evaluate innovative models of SNAP-Ed and their impact on participant behavior. Four demonstration projects were evaluated to determine whether their interventions positively affected the nutrition and health behaviors of SNAP participants. Learn more about their success.

Evaluation of the Wisconsin WIC Food Package Revisions
A recent study conducted by CFAN on the Wisconsin WIC Program shows that participants overwhelmingly accepted the new foods offered to them through changes to the WIC food package. The study was funded by the USDA Economic Research Service. Read more about our findings.

Customized Resources and Educational Materials
CFAN has a long history of working with the Pacific Island WIC Programs of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. Most recently, we worked with their state and local WIC agency staff and their program participants to develop targeted nutrition education materials that are culturally relevant and meaningful and promote the adoption of positive nutrition- and health-related behaviors. See examples of this work.

Breastfeeding Support: Help for Employers of Hourly Wage Workers
CFAN and Every Mother, Inc. have partnered on a project funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health to develop online resources to showcase creative solutions for businesses to support employees who are nursing their babies. Learn more about how we’re supporting Surgeon General Regina Benjamin’s call for the nation to take action to remove barriers to breastfeeding.

Partner Spotlight
The National WIC Association (NWA) works on behalf of the WIC Program to gain bipartisan support in Congress; the support of successive Administrations; and a broad coalition, including advocacy groups, health care and religious organizations, and the CEOs of Fortune 500 corporations. Learn more about the NWA.



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