Food literacy interventions are widely implemented to improve the food security and health of low-socioeconomic adults. The purpose of this study was to conduct an inquiry into the value of OzHarvest’s six-week NEST (Nutrition Education and Skills Training) program in promoting food security and food literacy, and to identify the barriers and enablers that participants experienced in sustaining food security, and in utilising their food literacy skills beyond the program. A descriptive evaluation study with pre-post surveys (n
= 21) and post-program interviews (n
= 17) was conducted, with a convenience sample of NEST program participants living in Sydney, Newcastle, and Melbourne, Australia. Participants demonstrated improvements in food security status (p
= 0.030), cooking confidence (p
= 0.001), food preparation behaviours (p
= 0.006), nutrition knowledge (p
= 0.033), vegetable consumption (p
= 0.043), and a reduction in intake of sugar-sweetened beverages (p
= 0.017), and salty snack foods (p
= 0.011). The interviews revealed that participants learned to stretch their food budgets and make meaningful changes to their food utilisation (a key dimension of food security). Interviews also identified enablers (e.g., social support) and barriers (e.g., health conditions) to achieving food security. Acknowledging the need for a multi-faceted approach that also addresses upstream determinants, interventions like NEST may play a role in promoting food security and food literacy.
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