A Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance Evaluation of Weekend Backpack Food Assistance Programs
Byker Shanks, Carmen
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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate an ongoing statewide weekend backpack program through the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework. DESIGN: Mixed-methods inquiry was used to explore the reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance of backpack programs within Montana. SETTING: Study participants completed audio-recorded one-on-one phone interviews. PARTICIPANTS: Key informants (e.g., managers at food banks, staff at participating schools, policy makers) were purposively sampled (N = 20). METHOD: Semistructured interviews were conducted to gather data to describe each RE-AIM dimension. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and deductively (i.e., using RE-AIM as themes) coded for meaning units, placed into higher-order categories, and summarized in narrative. Supporting quantitative data (e.g., the proportion of eligible students that joined the program, rate of school-level adoption) were calculated using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: Backpack programs with a broad reach and evidenced effect may be appealing to adopt. Weekend food bags cost an average $3.87 (SD ± .94) and there were some positive (i.e., ease, protecting participants\' privacy) and very few negative (logistical) components of implementation. Collaborators and community partners are necessary for long-term sustainability. CONCLUSION: Backpack programs are widespread and have potential to relieve weekend hunger; however, more efforts need to be made to end childhood hunger.
Shanks, Carmen Byker, and Samantha Harden. "A Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance Evaluation of Weekend Backpack Food Assistance Programs." American Journal of Health Promotion 30, no. 7 (September 2016): 511-520. DOI: 10.4278/ajhp.140116-QUAL-28.