Health Promotion Journal of Australia
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Issue addressed: Food literacy programs aim to build individuals’ knowledge, skills and self-efficacy to adopt healthy food choices conducive to reducing the risk of chronic diseases, such as obesity. Foodbank WA’s (FBWA) Healthy Food for All ® nutrition programs have supported the improvement of food literacy knowledge and skills among vulnerable people living in the Pilbara. Methods: A Sustainability Framework containing ten sustainability factors was overlaid with social ecological model (SEM) levels of influence to form a matrix. The use of this matrix facilitated sustainability strategy appraisal within three food literacy programs delivered in remote WA. Results: Programs included multiple sustainability strategies across levels of influence; all programs addressed all ten sustainability factors at community and organisational SEM levels of influence. Few sustainability strategies were employed at the public policy level of influence. No program employed formal governance structures to guide program direction, such as steering groups; however, school and parent program staff developed Memoranda of Understanding to ensure the continuation of program delivery between the FBWA teams’ regional visits. Conclusions: This study has showcased the comprehensive assessment of food literacy program sustainability across levels of influence and identified gaps for improvement by FBWA teams. So What?: The sustainability of food literacy programs aiming to increase knowledge and skills could be enhanced by conducting a similar analysis, during program planning or at program review. Using the matrix provides the opportunity to focus resources to address sustainability; supporting health promotion practitioners to transform the impacts of short-term food literacy interventions into long-term sustained outcomes.
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