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Supporting Food Markets in Responding to COVID-19

Highlights

a man with a mask shopping in a grocery store

In response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, PHI’s Center for Wellness and Nutrition (CWN) adapted and developed marketing materials for retailers, farmers markets and county governments to include COVID-19 safety messaging.

145K+ people reached with health education resources and onsite healthy food promotion and information

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, food retailers faced an immediate need to change their practices and inform consumers about urgent new safety measures around shopping and healthy eating. In response, PHI’s Center for Wellness and Nutrition (CWN) adapted and developed marketing materials to include COVID-19 safety messaging for partner use in food access settings. The program also collected and distributed COVID-19 resources for agencies who implement the USDA SNAP-Ed program, to help them continue their work safely through the pandemic.

Through its local healthy retail and farmers market programs, CWN engaged 25 food retailers, two farmers market sites, and six local counties and their partners, impacting more than 145,000 people directly or indirectly with health education resources and onsite healthy food promotion and information on stretching food dollars through CalFresh, Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Market Match, and other food benefit programs. In addition, CWN supported changes to California policies that broadened access to these food assistance programs. In early 2021, CWN research published in the CDC’s “Preventing Chronic Disease” found that increases in food assistance programs implemented by California during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic helped decrease food insecurity for low-income Californians. 

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