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About the Food and Nutrition Information Center

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Title:Food Hero Social Marketing Campaign
Alt. Title:Héroe de Alimentos
Includes: Web site, recipes, newsletters, downloadable tip sheets, marketing materials
Audience: Adults, Parents, Hispanic Americans
Language: English, Spanish, newsletters in Vietnamese
Description:"Food Hero is a social marketing campaign designed to increase consumption of vegetables and fruits within the target audience of SNAP-eligible Oregon moms with kids living in their homes."
Funding Source: USDA, FNS, SNAP-Ed; Oregon Department of Human Services SNAP; supplementary Oregon State University Extension Service Family and Community Health
Developer: Lauren Tobey
Organization: Oregon State University Extension
Phone: 541-737-1017
Readability: 6th grade or below
Assessment Method: Flesch-Kincaid
Pilot Testing:

Project development began in FFY 2009. Seven focus groups and a pre-post phone survey with over 2,000 participants. These were both part of the needs assessment for development. The website (the primary education component of the campaign) was accessed by 26,000 persons in 2010-11. We will also conduct 8 more focus groups in 2013. Currently, we are conducting process evaluation focused in over 50 elementary schools around Oregon, all with 50% or more of students receiving FRMs (free/reduced-price meals).

In 2011 and continuing through December 2012, the website went through a complete redesign to reflect research results from phase I of the campaign, new focus group data, a 2010 released government research report on designing websites for those with low health literacy, and feedback from County Extension nutrition educators. In early 2011 the new website platform was unveiled publicly through a campaign launch, phase II, in 14 Oregon counties. The campaign included community programming kits used by nutrition educators, a comprehensive media buy, and daily social media interactions. Media included comprehensive grocery store messaging and outdoor billboards in all 14 counties, plus in Multnomah County movie theaters and transit messaging. It is estimated that media generated 43,519,417 impressions. During that time (January 5-April 3, 2012), the website had 10,800 visits, 3,164 repeat visits, and nearly 72,000 page views. On average per visit, users visited 6.64 pages and stayed on the website for 5 minutes. Additionally the campaign gained many social media followers: 217 Facebook likes, 206 Twitter followers and 38 Pinterest followers.

The phase III kick-off of Food Hero will occur in over 50 elementary schools statewide launching January 2013. Additionally, 8 focus groups will be conducted to continue the work of the needs assessment aspect of Food Hero which is ongoing due to the ever changing environment of online technology and education. A pre- and post-campaign participant survey, process evaluation, was designed and is being executed for the school launch.

Assessment instrument Used? No
Use Restrictions: Permission needed to copy.
Reviewers Comments:

The Food Hero Web site provides recipes, tips and tools for moms and families to help them budget for, plan and create healthy meals. The site is divided into two sections: one for Recipes and one for Tips & Tools. Each recipe has been tested by the Food Hero team, and follows specific criteria noted on the Web site. All recipes provide a link to view a Nutrition Facts label. In the Tips & Tools section, each topic (for example, "Budget for Food") is broken down into 3 tabs: Quick Look, Benefits, and Make It Happen. The "Quick Look" tab provides an overview of the concept; the "Benefits" tab lists benefits of the concept or topic; and "Make It Happen" gives actionable steps and related tools to help families perform a task or adhere to a recommendation.

Web site users can access downloadable resources such as tip sheets and the Food Hero Monthly newsletter (available in Spanish and Vietnamese), order other Food Hero campaign materials (e.g., videos, grocery advertising media), and register to become a "Food Hero," which allows them to save recipes, post comments or rate recipes, and receive email updates. Followers can connect with other "Food Heros" on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. An option is also available to "Ask An Expert" a question related to food, nutrition, or other topics, which sends questions to the Oregon State University Extension service. Media marketing materials, such as a video, grocery and transit advertising, and community programming kits are available to order from the Media Center link on the Web site. The site is also available in Spanish.

SNAP educators may direct clients and participants to this Web site as a source of tested recipes and tips. Though specifically developed to reach Oregon moms, the information and resources are applicable to parents and families across the U.S. Other states may also use this campaign and related marketing materials as a model for their own state social marketing campaigns.

View/download files: 
Web site:
Order marketing materials:
Contact the Distributor:
    Distributor: Oregon State University Extension
    Contact: Lauren Tobey
    Mail: 106 Ballard Hall
Corvallis, OR 97331
    Phone: 541-737-1017
    Cost: 0.00 per
    Avail. in Qty: No

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