Development and evaluation of the Food Bank Health and Nutrition Assessment

Cassandra J. Nguyen, Caitlin Kownacki, Veronica Skaradzinski, Kaitlyn Streitmatter, Stephanie Acevedo, Stephen D. Ericson, Jessica E. Hager, Jennifer McCaffrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Efforts to improve the nutritional quality and health promotion in the charitable food system have been undertaken. Though methods exist to track these efforts in terms of food banks' inventory, there are not research-tested tools to assess, monitor and influence policy, systems and environmental (PSE) changes. The study objective was to develop and evaluate a novel assessment tool that could be used to evaluate a food bank's efforts to improve the promotion of health and nutritious foods. Design: The study had five phases: (1) initial development; (2) iterative review and revisions; (3) pilot testing; (4) content validity assessment and (5) inter-rater and test-retest assessment. The Food Bank Health and Nutrition Assessment (FB-HANA) was drafted after reviewing existing policies, nutrition-focused charitable food systems guidance and similar tools for food pantries. Setting: Midwestern United States. Participants: Eleven food banks. Results: Stakeholders and pilot testers provided initial feedback to refine the FB-HANA's flow, ease of completion and collection of contextual information. External experts rated the FB-HANA and each of the eight objectives as content valid. A set of two assessments completed by twenty-six community-based professionals, employed by Extension and fourteen food bank staff across eleven food banks, supported moderate to excellent inter-rater and test-retest reliability for the FB-HANA overall and each of its objectives. Conclusions: Evidence suggests that the FB-HANA can be used by either food bank or community-based professionals, such as Extension staff, to provide a perspective on ways food banks promote health and nutrition through PSE approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)738-747
Number of pages10
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 30 2023


  • Charitable food assistance
  • Community nutrition
  • Food insecurity
  • Health equity
  • Nutrition environment
  • Policy, systems and environment
  • Public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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