Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/4/2001
Publication Date: 9/1/2001
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Collaboration between researchers with the Lower Mississippi Delta Nutrition Intervention Research Initiative (Delta NIRI) and faculty in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences and the School of Social Work led to this community assessment research methods project. Each senior in the community nutrition class was partnered with two graduate social work students in a social work research methods class. Students from both classes were trained together in the administration of the Delta NIRI food store survey, adapted from the USDA's Authorized Food Retailer Characteristics Study. Each team of three students surveyed one of seven grocery stores located in varied geographic and socioeconomic areas of the community. The project was designed to teach the students to (1)work effectively as team members, (2)collect pertinent information for a community needs assessment, (3)identify economic issues affecting nutrition, (4)apply research methodologies, and (5)describe food availability and accessibility for the individual, family, and community. The dietetic students entered the survey data into an Access database and calculated the cost of the USDA's Week 2 Thrifty Food Plan using data from their respective stores. Students then met to discuss food costs and availability related to issues such as shopping with limited resources and working with limited resource audiences. Data entry by the students allowed for testing of the data management system. This involvement of students in the research process yielded mutual benefits to the students and the Delta NIRI research project. Supported in part by USDA/Agricultural Research Service.