Food Assistance and Hunger
Nationally Representative Study of WIC Nutrition Education Processes
For USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, RTI and its team of researchers from Altarum Institute and the Atkins Center for Weight and Health, University of California at Berkeley are conducting a study to characterize nutrition education offered as part of the WIC Program. We are conducting a nationally representative survey of local agencies and WIC sites to describe WIC nutrition education, including modes of delivery and intensity. Following the survey, we are conducting a pilot study with six WIC sites to assess the impact of WIC nutrition education on dietary behaviors of participating women and children. Based on the pilot study findings, we will develop an approach for conducting a national evaluation study.
Models of SNAP–Education and Evaluation, Waves I & II
For USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, RTI evaluated models of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) education and evaluation (SNAP was formerly known as the Food Stamp Program). Altarum Institute and RTI jointly conducted evaluations of seven demonstration programs; RTI led the impact evaluation to examine the extent to which the education programs change recipients' dietary behaviors.
- FNS reports
- RTI Research Brief
- RTI Policy Briefing
- Williams, P. A., Cates, S. C., Blitstein, J. L., Hersey, J. C., Gabor, V., Ball, M. J., ... Singh, A. (2014). Nutrition-education program improves preschoolers’ at-home diet: A group randomized trial. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 114, 1001–1008.
- Williams, P. A., Cates, S. C., Blitstein, J. L., Hersey, J. C., Kosa, K.M., Long, V.A., Singh, A., Berman, D. (2014). Evaluating the Impact of Six Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education Interventions on Children’s At-Home Diets. Health Education & Behavior. Advance Online Publication.
WIC Vendor Management Study
For USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, Altarum Institute and RTI conducted a study to collect and analyze data about state WIC Program vendor management practices and to determine the extent to which WIC vendors nationwide violated program rules and the factors associated with such violations. The Altarum/RTI team conducted the 1998, 2005, and 2013 iterations of the study.
Maine's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-ED)
For the state of Maine, RTI is collaborating with Altarum Institute on an evaluation of Maine’s SNAP Nutrition Education programs. RTI is leading the design and analysis of impact evaluations aimed at determining whether SNAP recipients are benefiting from nutrition education programs. The Altarum and RTI evaluation team is working closely with the University of New England and Maine Healthy Partnerships to develop an evaluation design and implement a data collection operation that assesses how well nutrition education programs are reaching children, families, and seniors.
A Pilot Study to Examine Dietary Quality, Stress, and Eating Behaviors among Women with Children Participating in the WIC Program
This RTI-funded cross-sectional study was conducted with 101 women who had a child enrolled in the Cumberland County, NC WIC Program. This study measured dietary intake by 24-hr recall using USDA's Automated Multiple Pass Method and calculated Healthy Eating Index-2005 scores to assess dietary quality. The study assessed perceived stress and three factors of eating behaviors and their associations with diet quality.
WIC Food Cost Report and Market Analysis
For USDA's Food and Nutrition Service, in collaboration with the Urban Institute, we calculated the fiscal year 2010 food costs of WIC's Special Supplemental Nutrition Program and developed a multimarket equilibrium displacement model that simulates the effect of WIC on food prices and sales.
National WIC Nutrition Services and Administration (NSA) Cost Study
For USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service, Altarum Institute and RTI are conducting a study to answer research questions associated with the dollar amounts collected by state and local WIC agencies, the “how and why” of WIC financial allocations, and the examination of factors influencing the manner in which funds are expended. As a subcontractor to Altarum, RTI developed the data collection instruments and procedures, is conducting the web-based data collection, and will assist Altarum in analyzing and reporting study findings.
A nutrition education program in low-income child care centers can improve a child’s at-home consumption of veg... Read more »