Ohio SNAP-Ed Stakeholder Engagement Project (OSSEP)

Image of the Swetland Center community nutrition team members standing all in one line together smiling

The Ohio SNAP-Ed Stakeholder Engagement Project to Promote Healthy Food Access (OSSEP) is a partnership between the Mary Ann Swetland Center at Case Western Reserve University and The Ohio State University SNAP-Ed Program.

The purpose of the OSSEP project is to develop tools for engaging diverse stakeholders, including SNAP-Ed practitioners and SNAP and other low-income consumers, in Policy, Systems, and Environmental (PSE) change efforts aimed at promoting healthy food access. The project has the broader goal of influencing healthy food purchasing and consumption among individuals and families receiving federal food assistance program benefits, such as SNAP.

The project currently supports the development, implementation, dissemination, and evaluation of two tools:

The PSE READI (www.PSEREADI.org) is a web-based tool designed to help SNAP-Ed and public health health practitioners assess community readiness and capacity to implement and sustain nutrition-related policy, system, and environmental (PSE) interventions designed to make healthy food choices accessible within community settings such as schools, childcare centers, grocery stores and convenience stores, farmers markets, and more in diverse communities.

Currently, the PSE READI offers and extensive library of worksheets, toolkits, and general resources plus online assessments and tailored recommendations for action planning related to six targeted intervention areas: Farmers Markets, Healthy Food Retail, Farm to School, Healthy Eating in Child Care, Food Pantries, and K-12 Schools.

The PSE READI is part of the USDA’s national SNAP-Ed Toolkit, a one-stop shop for organizations seeking programs to improving nutritional health in their communities. Learn more about the history of this project (formerly named Building Capacity for Obesity Prevention - BCOP) and the development of the tool here. Learn even more about this tool on our PSE READI page.

Ongoing PSE READI project activities include:

  • Technological maintenance of the PSE READI website in partnership with Keystone IT to ensure end-user satisfaction.
  • Engagement of stakeholders across Ohio to take PSE READI assessments.
  • Ongoing maintenance to ensure recommendations generated from the PSE READI reflect the latest evidence to support implementation of the six PSE areas featured on the website.
  • Updating the online resource library to ensure all recommendations and web-based resources are functional and up-to-date within all six PSE areas featured on the website.
  • Virtual trainings for Ohio SNAP-Ed staff showcasing best practices and instruction on planning PSE interventions and using the PSE READI tool.
  • A quality improvement project engaging SNAP-Ed staff focused on analyzing and interpreting data collected from Ohio statewide PSE READI assessments about factors influencing readiness and capacity for implementation to identify areas to prioritize support for PSE READI users.

Produce Path is a software that is available as both a mobile and web application that seeks to promote two-way information exchange between farmers markets and low-income consumers to increase integration of farmers markets and related nutrition incentive programming into food shopping routines. The broader goal of this software application is to increase fruit and vegetable purchasing and consumption among people receiving federal food assistance program benefits (i.e., SNAP, WIC).

Learn more about the Produce Path software and its development on our Produce Path page.

Ongoing evaluation OSSEP project activities include:

  • An implementation evaluation project to examine the impact of the Produce Path app and community champions* on SNAP and nutrition incentive (i.e., Produce Perks, etc.) use at six farmers markets in diverse settings in Ohio compared to six markets sites not using the app.

    *Community champions are individuals residing near the farmers markets implementing the Produce Path app who are recruited and trained to promote the use of the app locally among SNAP consumers.

Lee, E., Dalton, J., Ngendahima, D., Bebo, P., Davis, A., Remley, D., Smathers, C., & Freedman, D. A. (2017) Consensus-based assessment tool of readiness and capacity for implementing community-based nutrition interventions: A case study using farmers markets. Translational Behavioral Medicine, 7(3); 506-516.

Parsons, A. A., Monteban, M., Lee, E., Bebo, P., Zubieta, A. C., Ginnetti, S., Hewitt, J., & Freedman, D. (2019). Indicators of Readiness and Capacity for Implementation of Health Eating Strategies in Child Care Settings Serving Low-Income Children. Journal of nutrition education and behavior, 51(4), 465-477.

Cascio, M. A., Lee, E., Vaudrin, N., & Freedman, D. A. (2019). A team-based Approach to Open Coding: Considerations for Creating Intercoder Consensus. Field Methods, 31(2), 116-130.

Lee, E., Smathers, C., Zubieta, A. C., Ginnetti, S., Shah, A., & Freedman, D. A. (2019). Identifying Indicators of Readiness and Capacity for Implementing Farm-to-School Interventions. The Journal of school health, 89(5), 373-381.

Sanchez-Flack, J., Joshi, K., Lee, E. E., & Freedman, D. A. (2021). Indicators of readiness and capacity for implementation of health food retail interventions. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 10(3), 1-17.

Yamoah, O., Schulte, J., Osborn, L., Ogland-Hand, C., Zubieta, A. C., & Freedman, D. A. (2023). Pantry clients and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education practitioners' perspectives on factors influencing health eating policy, systems and environmental interventions in food pantries. Journal of Nutritional Science, 12, e81.

Produce Path (Formerly FM Engage)

Coming soon.

Page updated on May 2, 2024. OSSEP is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (G-2425-17-0632). This website does not reflect the official views or policies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.