The University of Minnesota Extension Simply Good Eating Program conducted
focus groups with limited-resource individuals and service providers throughout
Minnesota to assess the quality and effectiveness of nutrition education
programs. It was important to learn more about the target populations (i.e. the
poor and their communities). Service providers that were interviewed live and
work in the community and already work with the population being targeted by Health and Nutrition. Focus group questions were developed to explore the
strengths and assets of the participants, barriers to participation, and preferred
methods of learning. Questions were also asked regarding improved methods
for program delivery, and alternative ways to encourage program participation.
Better understanding these issues from the community service provider’s
knowledge and experiences will provide a more holistic view of participants’
assets, barriers and contexts. This understanding assists the Health and Nutrition
Educators in assessing the quality and effectiveness of current programming
efforts. Another purpose of analyzing the service provider focus groups
with the participant focus groups is to share the results of the focus groups
with service providers from across the state. Results indicated that service providers
felt important considerations in delivering nutrition education include:
relevant education to participant’s current situation; hands-on learning including
cooking activities with simple recipes; and time to build relationships. The
perception of barriers and needs were quite similar between providers and
participants. However a condescending tone, specifically with providers to
rural Caucasian clients, was observed.
Van Offelen, Sara; May, Jill.
Analysis of Service Providers’ Views on Nutrition Education For Limited Resource Audiences.
University of Minnesota Extension.
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