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Carolyn Bird

Professor

4101 Beryl Road 210N

Publications

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Grants

Date: 10/01/21 - 9/30/22
Amount: $340,755.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS)

NCSU’s More In My Basket FY2022 The North Carolina Cooperative Extension's More In My Basket FY2022 provides outreach to low resource audiences to increase their understanding of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (food stamps), to help alleviate hunger in North Carolina. There is a dire need for families to access benefits to have better and sufficient quantity of food. Each year available benefits go unused and families’ nutrition needs are not met. This program focuses on fostering access SNAP benefits to reduce or eliminate food insecurity; which has numerous, detrimental and long-term effects on human health, well-being, and quality of life. To facilitate the desire to enroll and to promote actual enrollment, the program describes eligibility criteria, clarifies the application process and, in targeted situations, provides eligibility screening and application assistance. The primary goal is to increase informed decisions to participate in SNAP, and facilitate the connection to enrollment experts by providing a practical understanding of SNAP benefits and how to apply. There is an urgent need for this program in North Carolina. North Carolina’s (NC) poverty rate of 13.6% (2019) means the state entered the pandemic with more than 1.4 million residents in poverty. Additionally, in 2020 our state’s food insecurity rate of 13.9% is higher than the national (11.7%) rate, and it is one of only five states with a rate above the national average. North Carolina is the 10th most food insecure state overall. The financial benefits of receiving SNAP allow households to purchase more food, and more nutritional food such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Additionally, the health benefits of more nutritious eating can reduce sick days and increase focus for students and workers; and, allow for greater independence and community interaction for older adults. Also, improved nutrition can reduce the incident of chronic health problems (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity), and premature death. This could relate to a reduction in medical expenses, 50% of which are paid by Medicaid or Medicare, related to poor health. Currently, there are well-known barriers that keep adults from applying for SNAP benefits including personal pride; outdated or incorrect information about the application process, screening criteria or possible benefits; perception that the effort is greater than the potential financial and health benefits; or, a previous negative experience associated with applying, using, or maintaining benefits. Some of the barriers to SNAP participation that have been reported include the stigma of receiving low-income benefits, a burdensome process to collect and verify documents, and a long, confusing application. This outreach project, More in My Basket 2021-2022, raises awareness of the food purchasing and nutritional benefits of SNAP. This program corrects outdated and incorrect information about the SNAP, clarifies the application process, overviews the document collection and verification processes, and helps to reduce the stigma associated with enrolling in and receiving SNAP. Family and Consumer Sciences agents provide education with targeted eligibility screening and application assistance provided by project staff. Key words (up to 4): low-income, economic well-being, food stamps, families

Date: 10/01/20 - 9/30/21
Amount: $326,150.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS)

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension's More In My Basket FY2021-23 provides outreach to low resource audiences to increase their understanding of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (food stamps), to help alleviate hunger in North Carolina. There is a dire need for families to access benefits to have better and sufficient quantity of food. Each year available benefits go unused and families’ nutrition needs are not met. This program focuses on fostering access SNAP benefits to reduce or eliminate food insecurity; which has numerous, detrimental and long-term effects on human health, well-being, and quality of life. To facilitate the desire to enroll and to promote actual enrollment, the program describes eligibility criteria, clarifies the application process and, in targeted situations, provides eligibility screening and application assistance. The primary goal is to increase informed decisions to participate in SNAP, and facilitate the connection to enrollment experts by providing a practical understanding of SNAP benefits and how to apply. There is an urgent need for this program in North Carolina. North Carolina’s (NC) poverty rate of 14.0% is higher than the national average of 13.4%, across all age groups. Additionally, our state’s food insecurity rate of 14.7% is higher than the national rate, and it is one of only five states with a rate above the national average. North Carolina is the 5th most food insecure state overall. The More In My Basket outreach program, in its first year, focused on the older adult population. In this, the eighth programmatic year outreach is provided to older adults, adults, and Spanish-language outreach to Latino audiences. In 2008, only 67% of individuals who were eligible for USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits were receiving them. Or looked at differently, food insecurity was at 18.5%, 17.0% and 14.4% for the highest poverty groups – those below 100%, 130%, and 185% of the Federal poverty level, respectively. The highest risk households are those with a single head of household and one or more children. The financial benefits of receiving SNAP allow households to purchase more food, and more nutritional food such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Additionally, the health benefits of more nutritious eating can reduce sick days and increase focus for students and workers; and, allow for greater independence and community interaction for older adults. Also, improved nutrition can reduce the incident of chronic health problems (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity), and premature death. This could relate to a reduction in medical expenses, 50% of which are paid by Medicaid or Medicare, related to poor health. Currently, there are well-known barriers that keep adults from applying for SNAP benefits including personal pride; outdated or incorrect information about the application process, screening criteria or possible benefits; perception that the effort is greater than the potential financial and health benefits; or, a previous negative experience associated with applying, using, or maintaining benefits. Some of the barriers to SNAP participation that have been reported include the stigma of receiving low-income benefits, a burdensome process to collect and verify documents, and a long, confusing application. This outreach project, More in My Basket 2021-23 raises awareness of the food purchasing and nutritional benefits of SNAP. This program corrects outdated and incorrect information about the SNAP, clarifies the application process, overviews the document collection and verification processes, and helps to reduce the stigma associated with enrolling in and receiving SNAP. Family and Consumer Sciences agents provide education with targeted eligibility screening and application assistance provided by project staff.

Date: 10/01/19 - 9/30/20
Amount: $2,817,302.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS)

The purpose of this grant is to deliver nutrition and physical activity education to limited resource audience at the individual level and provide multi-level strategies/interventions to promote policy, systems, and environmental change across North Carolina, with 74 counties receiving high levels of intervention.

Date: 11/30/-1 - 9/30/20
Amount: $462,936.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS)

The More In My Basket (MIMB) program, developed by North Carolina State University, addresses food insecurity through education on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Misinformation and application complexity are major barriers to combating food insecurity. MIMB is an intervention designed to reduce barriers by dispelling myths and increasing awareness of SNAP (called Food and Nutrition Services, or FNS in North Carolina) through community education and improved access to program benefits through application assistance. NC Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Sciences agents deliver group presentations for classroom-type settings, individual consultations are performed in conjunction with other counseling, and booth-based outreach at large-scale events such as health fairs. MIMB’s low-stigma techniques connect people to MIMB staff including social media outreach through the MoreFood.org website and blog, Twitter, Facebook, and Google outreach campaigns.

Date: 10/01/18 - 9/30/19
Amount: $253,171.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS)

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension's More In My Basket FY2019 provides outreach to low resource audiences to increase their understanding of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (food stamps), to help alleviate hunger in North Carolina. There is a dire need for families to access benefits to have better and sufficient quantity of food. Each year available benefits go unused and families’ nutrition needs are not met. This program focuses on fostering access SNAP benefits to reduce or eliminate food insecurity; which has numerous, detrimental and long-term effects on human health, well-being, and quality of life. To facilitate the desire to enroll and to promote actual enrollment, the program describes eligibility criteria, clarifies the application process and, in targeted situations, provides eligibility screening and application assistance. The primary goal is to increase informed decisions to participate in SNAP, and facilitate the connection to enrollment experts by providing a practical understanding of SNAP benefits and how to apply. There is an urgent need for this program in North Carolina. North Carolina’s (NC) poverty rate of 16.4% is higher than the national average of 13.5%, across all age groups. Additionally, our state’s food insecurity rate of 14.7% is higher than the national rate, and it is one of only five states with a rate above the national average. North Carolina is the 5th most food insecure state overall. The More In My Basket outreach program, in its first year, focused on the older adult population. In this, the eighth programmatic year outreach is provided to older adults, adults, and Spanish-language outreach to Latino audiences. In 2008, only 67% of individuals who were eligible for USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits were receiving them. Or looked at differently, food insecurity was at 18.5%, 17.0% and 14.4% for the highest poverty groups – those below 100%, 130%, and 185% of the Federal poverty level, respectively. The highest risk households are those with a single head of household and one or more children. The financial benefits of receiving SNAP allow households to purchase more food, and more nutritional food such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Additionally, the health benefits of more nutritious eating can reduce sick days and increase focus for students and workers; and, allow for greater independence and community interaction for older adults. Also, improved nutrition can reduce the incident of chronic health problems (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity), and premature death. This could relate to a reduction in medical expenses, 50% of which are paid by Medicaid or Medicare, related to poor health. Currently, there are well-known barriers that keep adults from applying for SNAP benefits including personal pride; outdated or incorrect information about the application process, screening criteria or possible benefits; perception that the effort is greater than the potential financial and health benefits; or, a previous negative experience associated with applying, using, or maintaining benefits. Some of the barriers to SNAP participation that have been reported include the stigma of receiving low-income benefits, a burdensome process to collect and verify documents, and a long, confusing application. This outreach project, More in My Basket 2018-2019, raises awareness of the food purchasing and nutritional benefits of SNAP. This program corrects outdated and incorrect information about the SNAP, clarifies the application process, overviews the document collection and verification processes, and helps to reduce the stigma associated with enrolling in and receiving SNAP. Family and Consumer Sciences agents provide education with targeted eligibility screening and application assistance provided by project staff.

Date: 10/01/18 - 9/30/19
Amount: $2,209,735.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS)

North Carolina State University will conduct comprehensive nutrition education serving individuals and families enrolled in or eligible for SNAP and their communities through the SNAP Education program, Steps to Health. Steps to Health will deliver direct and indirect education on the individual level and provide multi-level strategies/interventions to promote environmental and policy change across North Carolina, with 74 counties receiving high levels of intervention. For FY19, SNAP-Ed will deliver programming to SNAP-eligible pre-K and school-aged children, adults, older adults, and families) will be reached through eight multi-session, direct education programs delivered by NC State Cooperative Extension Staff and Nutrition Educators. Sessions are interactive and multi-sensory, incorporating taste tests, cooking demonstrations, games, discussion, physical activity, songs, and goal setting to facilitate learning and promote positive behavior change. Building on direct education, Steps to Heath will engage in health promotion activities by providing indirect education to people at the interpersonal and community level. Additionally, Steps to Health will enhance direct and indirect education by providing site-specific resources and engaging site leadership/management to address policy, systems and environmental approaches to behavior change. Social marketing will be integrated as a community and public health approach to nutrition education that complements direct and indirect nutrition programming and will reach approximately with children ten years and younger.

Date: 10/01/17 - 9/30/18
Amount: $222,307.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS)

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension's More In My Basket FY2018 provides outreach to low resource audiences to increase their understanding of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (food stamps), to help alleviate hunger in North Carolina. There is a dire need for families to access benefits to have better and sufficient quantity of food. Each year available benefits go unused and families’ nutrition needs are not met. This program focuses on fostering access SNAP benefits to reduce or eliminate food insecurity; which has numerous, detrimental and long-term effects on human health, well-being, and quality of life. To facilitate the desire to enroll and to promote actual enrollment, the program describes eligibility criteria, clarifies the application process and, in targeted situations, provides eligibility screening and application assistance. The primary goal is to increase informed decisions to participate in SNAP, and facilitate the connection to enrollment experts by providing a practical understanding of SNAP benefits and how to apply. There is an urgent need for this program in North Carolina. North Carolina’s (NC) poverty rate of 16.4% is higher than the national average of 13.5%, across all age groups. Additionally, our state’s food insecurity rate of 14.7% is higher than the national rate, and it is one of only five states with a rate above the national average. North Carolina is the 5th most food insecure state overall. The More In My Basket outreach program, in its first year, focused on the older adult population. In this, the eighth programmatic year outreach is provided to older adults, adults, and Spanish-language outreach to Latino audiences. In 2008, only 67% of individuals who were eligible for USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits were receiving them. Or looked at differently, food insecurity was at 18.5%, 17.0% and 14.4% for the highest poverty groups – those below 100%, 130%, and 185% of the Federal poverty level, respectively. The highest risk households are those with a single head of household and one or more children. The financial benefits of receiving SNAP allow households to purchase more food, and more nutritional food such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Additionally, the health benefits of more nutritious eating can reduce sick days and increase focus for students and workers; and, allow for greater independence and community interaction for older adults. Also, improved nutrition can reduce the incident of chronic health problems (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity), and premature death. This could relate to a reduction in medical expenses, 50% of which are paid by Medicaid or Medicare, related to poor health. Currently, there are well-known barriers that keep adults from applying for SNAP benefits including personal pride; outdated or incorrect information about the application process, screening criteria or possible benefits; perception that the effort is greater than the potential financial and health benefits; or, a previous negative experience associated with applying, using, or maintaining benefits. Some of the barriers to SNAP participation that have been reported include the stigma of receiving low-income benefits, a burdensome process to collect and verify documents, and a long, confusing application. This outreach project, More in My Basket 2017-2018, raises awareness of the food purchasing and nutritional benefits of SNAP. This program corrects outdated and incorrect information about the SNAP, clarifies the application process, overviews the document collection and verification processes, and helps to reduce the stigma associated with enrolling in and receiving SNAP. Family and Consumer Sciences agents provide education with targeted eligibility screening and application assistance provided by project staff.

Date: 10/01/17 - 9/30/18
Amount: $2,209,735.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS)

North Carolina State University will conduct comprehensive nutrition education serving individuals and families enrolled in or eligible for SNAP and their communities through the SNAP Education program, Steps to Health. Steps to Health will deliver direct and indirect education on the individual level and provide multi-level strategies/interventions to promote environmental and policy change across North Carolina, with 72 counties receiving high levels of intervention. For FY18, approximately 18,100 people (SNAP-eligible pre-K and school-aged children, adults, older adults, and families) will be reached through eight multi-session, direct education programs delivered by NC State Cooperative Extension Staff and Nutrition Educators. Sessions are interactive and multi-sensory, incorporating taste tests, cooking demonstrations, games, discussion, physical activity, songs, and goal setting to facilitate learning and promote positive behavior change. Building on direct education, Steps to Heath will engage in health promotion activities by providing indirect education to 26,750 people at the interpersonal and community level. Additionally, Steps to Health will enhance direct and indirect education by providing site-specific resources and engaging site leadership/management to address environmental and policy change, reaching an estimated 142,545 people. Social marketing will be integrated as a community and public health approach to nutrition education that complements direct and indirect nutrition programming and will reach approximately 100,000 mothers with children eight years and younger.

Date: 09/30/15 - 9/30/18
Amount: $99,429.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - Food and Nutrition Service (USDA FNS)

SNAP households, like many American households, typically do not eat recommended amounts of fruits, whole grains, and other healthy foods (Mancino & Guthrie, 2014). Farmers’ markets that accept SNAP offer an important means for SNAP households to access healthy foods, particularly fresh produce. The number of farmers’ markets that accept SNAP has grown steadily in recent years, with over 2,000 markets accepting SNAP in 2013 (Tiehan, 2014). In North Carolina, 110 farmers’ markets are authorized to accept SNAP, up from 78 markets in FY2012. The increase in the number of farmers’ markets accepting SNAP coincides with an increase in SNAP redemptions at farmers’ markets. However, SNAP redemptions at farmers’ markets represent less than one percent of total SNAP sales in North Carolina (USDA Food & Nutrition Service as cited in Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA, 2015). The proposed pilot project seeks to address this issue. More In My Basket at the Market (MIMBM) will conduct educational sessions designed to introduce, instruct, and facilitate SNAP households’ interest and skill in purchasing and preparing fresh produce available at local farmers’ markets. MIMBM will target five North Carolina counties to a) raise awareness among SNAP households about redeeming SNAP at local farmers’ markets, b) increase MIMBM participants confidence in and skill for purchasing produce at the farmers’ market, and c) increase SNAP redemptions at farmers’ markets that currently accept SNAP. The five target counties include: Haywood, Jackson, Mecklenburg, Moore, and Richmond.

Date: 10/01/16 - 9/30/17
Amount: $251,990.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

Food insecurity in North Carolina (NC) is a pressing problem. NC food insecurity rates exceed the US average estimates 14% of the population as food insecure. Reports show that one in five people in North Carolina (20.8%) struggled to afford enough food for themselves and their families in 2014 (2). Overall, 3,891,000 NC households experience some level of food insecurity and of these 16.7% are listed as food insecure and another 6.4% have very low food security. Even more dire is the 26.1% of all North Carolina children experiencing food insecurity. Similarly, older adults (9th worst food security status) and Latinos (28.7% to 50.9%) in North Carolina have high rates of food insecurity. The “More In My Basket” (MIMB) program meets a crucial need for continued education and outreach to support limited-resource individuals and families. MIMB aids families in improving their food security through understanding the benefits of receiving FNS and the supporting their decision and ability to apply for FNS. All aspects of the MIMB outreach program is offered in both English and Spanish and focuses on raising awareness of the nutrition benefits of FNS while describing eligibility rules and how to apply. It addresses myths and misperceptions about FNS benefits and application criteria. Eligibility screening and application assistance is provided to participants to help them connect them to FNS benefits. MIMB will be offered in 28 North Carolina counties.


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