Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of food-insecure households in the United States has increased to levels not seen since the great Recession, reversing over a decade's worth of economic progress. While the impact of COVID-19 is being felt in all communities across the country, food insecure households will face unique challenges, and the number experiencing food insecurity will continue to grow. Communities that already had a high rate of food insecurity before the pandemic will continue to have high rates of food insecurity and food insecure households; communities with low rates will see the largest relative increase in food insecurity.
Goals and Objectives:
The CHALK Jr. Mobile Market Food Insecurity Initiative aims to: establish an emergency food distribution program at four (4) early childhood centers (ECCs); increase entitlement enrollment (SNAP and WIC) among eligible families; provide education on nutrition and emergency food resources; ensure that every participant has a medical home; and ensure that all ECCs follow evidence-based COVID-19 safety guidelines.
This work is an extension of CHALK Jr., NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's partnership model for obesity prevention in early childhood settings. Building on established infrastructure for effective collaboration, the program will increase access to emergency food resources and fresh and healthy foods for families in Washington Heights and Inwood while increasing capacity at Early Childhood centers. Early childhood center parents or engaged community members will be hired part-time as mobile market coordinators, receiving training in entitlement enrollment, evidence-based COVID-19 safety guidelines, and program implementation with support from the CHALK Jr. Healthy Lifestyles Coordinator. A built environment budget will support adherence to evidence-based COVID-19 safety guidelines and effective mobile market implementation. The program model will be piloted for two years at Rena Day Care Centers, then recreated with support from Rena and NYP CHALK Jr. at three additional ECCs in grant years 3-5.
The project will rely on an established network of NewYork-Presbyterian and community partners to fulfill the objectives of the project, and efficiently implement program activities within our community. Our partners for this initiative include: Rena Day Care Centers, Corbin Hill Food Project, NewYork-Presbyterian CHALK, and Columbia University Irving Medical Center, as well as three additional early childhood centers to be recruited in years three, four, and five of the grant cycle.
A rigorous process and outcome evaluation will be performed using quantitative methods and a pre-post design. Evaluation instruments will be chosen jointly with the community partner and they will reflect language and culture of target population. Staff will collect and manage data under secure NYP systems. NewYork-Presbyterian agrees to participate in a HRSA-supported national evaluation of HTPCP 1 and 5 years after the end of the 5-year period of performance.