An evaluation of the USDA program, Make Your Food Dollars Count

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Make Your Food Dollars Count is a program the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published to help low-income people improve their nutritional status and maximize the use of their food dollars. This program was implemented in Roanoke City at Mountain House, a special rehabilitation program sponsored by Mental Health Services of the Roanoke Valley; Melrose Tower Retirement Village and Morningside Manor Retirement Village. Program effectiveness was measured by food dollars saved, a decrease in good dollars spent on foods in the firth food group (fats, sweets, and alcohol), and improved dietary intake. The main instruments used to measure effectiveness were pre and post-demographic surveys, pre and post 24-hour recalls, and four food habit surveys. A total of 53 people participated in this study. Results show that were was an average $1.15 weekly decrease in the amount of money 12 participants attending sessions and four spent on foods in the fifth food group. An average of $4.23 per week was saved by those six participants who attended all four sessions. Fruit and Vegetable Adequacy and Milk and Milk Product Adequacy Subscores improved for all participants attending sessions one and four. The greatest dietary changes occurred for those participants attending all four sessions.