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Healthcare-based food assistance programmes in the United States: A scoping review and typology

Rudel RK, Byhoff E, Strombotne KL, Drainoni ML, Greece JA
J Nutr Sci

This scoping review aimed to identify the breadth of healthcare-based food assistance programmes in the United States and organize them into a typology of programmes to provide implementation guidance to aspiring food assistance programmers in healthcare settings. We searched PubMed, Cochrane, and CINAHL databases for peer-reviewed articles published between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2021, and mined reference lists. We used content analysis to extract programmatic details from each intervention and to qualitatively analyse intervention components to develop a typology for healthcare institutions in the United States. Eligible articles included descriptions of patient populations served and programmatic details. Articles were not required to include formal evaluations for inclusion in this scoping review. Our search resulted in 8706 abstracts, which yielded forty-three articles from thirty-five interventions. We identified three distinct programme types: direct food provision, referral, and voucher programmes. Programme type was influenced by programme goals, logistical considerations, such as staffing, food storage or refrigeration space, and existence of willing partner CBOs. Food provision programmes (n 13) were frequently permanent and leveraged partnerships with community-based organisations (CBOs) that provide food. Referral programmes (n 8) connected patients to CBOs for federal or local food assistance enrollment. Voucher programmes (n 14) prioritised provision of fruits and vegetables (n 10) and relied on a variety of clinic staff to refer patients to months-long programmes. Healthcare-based implementers can use this typology to design and maintain programmes that align with the needs of their sites and patient populations.

Rudel RK, Byhoff E, Strombotne KL, Drainoni ML, Greece JA. Healthcare-based food assistance programmes in the United States: a scoping review and typology. J Nutr Sci. 2023;12:e128. DOI:10.1017/jns.2023.111. PMID: 38155805

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Peer Reviewed Research
Social Determinant of Health
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