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Open AccessArticle

Best Practices and Innovative Solutions to Overcome Barriers to Delivering Policy, Systems and Environmental Changes in Rural Communities

Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695, USA
Department of Global Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514, USA
Department of Public Health, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27834, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(8), 1012;
Received: 6 July 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 30 July 2018 / Published: 3 August 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Vulnerable Groups)
To better understand the barriers to implementing policy; systems; and environmental (PSE) change initiatives within Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) programming in U.S. rural communities; as well as strategies to overcome these barriers, this study identifies: (1) the types of nutrition-related PSE SNAP-Ed programming currently being implemented in rural communities; (2) barriers to implementing PSE in rural communities; and (3) common best practices and innovative solutions to overcoming SNAP-Ed PSE implementation barriers. This mixed-methods study included online surveys and interviews across fifteen states. Participants were eligible if they: (1) were SNAP-Ed staff that were intimately aware of facilitators and barriers to implementing programs, (2) implemented at least 50% of their programming in rural communities, and (3) worked in their role for at least 12 months. Sixty-five staff completed the online survey and 27 participated in interviews. Barriers to PSE included obtaining community buy-in, the need for relationship building, and PSE education. Facilitators included finding community champions; identifying early “wins” so that community members could easily see PSE benefits. Partnerships between SNAP-Ed programs and non-SNAP-Ed organizations are essential to implementing PSE. SNAP-Ed staff should get buy-in from local leaders before implementing PSE. Technical assistance for rural SNAP-Ed programs would be helpful in promoting PSE. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural populations; food assistance; low-income rural populations; food assistance; low-income
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Haynes-Maslow, L.; Osborne, I.; Jilcott Pitts, S.B. Best Practices and Innovative Solutions to Overcome Barriers to Delivering Policy, Systems and Environmental Changes in Rural Communities. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1012.

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