The Healthy and Sustainable Diets for All focus is on research and educational intervention to mitigate food system and diet related health disparities on the Flathead Indian Reservation. Salish Kootenai College Extension and Montana State University Department of Health and Human Development partnered to engage forty low-income participants of the Food Distribution Programs on Indian Reservations, including Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, and local Foodbanks in a six month study addressing the research question: What are the effects of an integrated social media and nutrition education intervention on food choices, dietary quality, health outcomes, nutrition knowledge, and perceptions of study participants? The specific aims are to: Characterize impacts of an integrated social media and nutrition education intervention; Evaluate impacts of nutritional and healthy cooking education intervention on waist circumference, body mass index, blood pressure, and blood glucose; Determine impacts of intervention on nutrition knowledge and perceptions to elucidate linkages between food choices, dietary quality, health outcomes, and nutrition, and; Assess barriers and opportunities for increasing consumption of locally produced fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Survey tools measuring food choices, dietary quality, nutrition knowledge, and motivation document participant perceptions of food. Interventions include nutrition and sustainability curriculum, cooking demonstrations, a cookbook, using local vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, mindfulness activities associated with food, Facebook, on-line information on meu planning, cooking, and a project website for archiving information. An inventory of tribal food use and a barriers survey will assess potential to utilize local food in tribal schools, restaurants, and assistance programs.
SKCE conducts research with area participants in food supplement programs SNAP, FDPIR, and area food banks improving access to healthy fresh locally produced foods, providing nutritional education, and maintaining SKC gardens and area community gardens to distribute produce to area seniors , food pantrys, and food program participants. RAs work with area food providers, conduct research, maintain gardens and greenhouse crops, composting, and distributing produce.