Prioritizing Global Food and Nutrition Security Programs
In February 2016, the General Mills Foundation awarded the Foundation a “Hunger Free Communities” planning grant. The planning grant was used to develop a food security and nutrition guide, assessment tools, and process to assist communities through a decision making process for selecting food security interventions that meet community needs and capacity.
To complete the project, the Foundation awarded a one-year Hunger Free Communities Research Fellowship to Elizabeth Yakes-Jimenez, PhD, RDN. Outputs of the project include a facilitator guide and set of tools, including:
- A community food and nutrition security assessment based on existing data
- A list of interventions to consider
- An intervention scoring sheet
Validity of the assessment tool was conducted with food and nutrition security experts in the U.S. and in several other countries.
In early 2017, GMF awarded a second grant to support the evolution of this project with a pilot of the assessment tool and decision process in three communities from 2017-2018, including two U.S. and one global setting. This included improving the process and tools developed while augmenting local decision making, strategic planning, and assessment and evaluation capacity. This work concluded in October 2018.
As part of this work, the Academy’s Health Informatics Infrastructure was enhanced to support additional global food security and nutrition intervention data points and outcomes measures. This web-based application and online tool was created as part of ANDHII to collect and monitor nutrition impact data and generate evaluation feedback and reports for individuals and aggregated data for populations. A second Hunger Free Communities fellow, Lee Unangst, MS, RDN, supported the creation of the ANDHII website architecture and created pilot testing plans for collecting data from the tools developed. This work is expected to wrap up in early 2019.
In late 2017, GMF awarded a third grant to support the continued augmentation of the guide and tools as well as supporting materials and an initial dissemination plan for this work to the broader public health community. This work is currently underway and has resulted in a fruitful collaboration with the Alliance to End Hunger and their network. During this phase of the project, the name was changed from “Hunger Free Communities” to “Food Security Solutions.” A robust collection of supporting materials for communities, as well as the final guide and tools, are expected to be available to the public in late 2018.
Currently we are in phase 4 of the project. A significant emphasis of this phase of FSS will be to communicate and disseminate the guide, tools, and ANDHII Survey App to increase awareness among the public health community and among national partners.