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Project Title

Understanding Reach and Implementation of School Nutrition Safety Net Programs for NC Families During COVID-19: Implications for Policy and Practice

Funding Dates



In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a variety of changes have been made to the way child nutrition safety net programs are being implemented. This study aims to examine access to meal distribution sites across North Carolina and describe the implementation and potential sustainability of meal distribution methods by child nutrition program sponsors across the state. The project team, which includes researchers from the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Duke, UNC Greensboro, East Carolina University, and the Food Insight Group, will use a mixed-methods approach that includes spatial mapping using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), semi-structured interviews with school nutrition directors, and analysis of “video diaries” from school nutrition staff. This research can inform future improvements to policy/practice and identify innovative implementation approaches that occurred due to the crisis but could be sustained when normalcy resumes.

Research Areas 

Cardiovascular Health, Obesity, and Diabetes
Children’s Health
Health Equity
Healthy Food Access
Nutrition and Physical Activity
Rural Health

Principal Investigator

Alice Ammerman, DrPH