Though challenges surfaced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including increased food and nutrition insecurity, so have potential opportunities to support states in addressing health risk factors and increasing overall community resiliency for chronic disease prevention. The State Partnerships Improving Nutrition & Equity (SPINE) program promotes equitable and sustainable food and nutrition security. In collaboration with our funder, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO), and a team of subject matter experts, NACDD supports State Health Departments in addressing food and nutrition security through sustainable and equitable actions that tackle economic and social conditions limiting food and nutrition security across the lifespan through a policy, systems, and environmental change lens. Health equity is foundational to the SPINE program and will be integrated throughout the planning, action, and evaluation phases of the project, in addition to considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
NACDD is providing tailored and extensive training and technical assistance (T/TA) to nine SPINE states to build and implement sustainable partnerships and programs and services into existing efforts, especially in communities with populations at high risk (Black, Latinx, American Indian/Native American, young children, aging adults, and people with disabilities). States will work towards the achievement of the following outcomes:
- Sustainable cross-sector partnerships that will support the implementation of a SPINE State Action Plan (SAP) focused on increasing sustainable and equitable access to affordable, safe, and nutritious food across the lifespan during COVID-19; and
- Improved capacity to leverage resources from multiple partners and sectors at the state and local levels to implement evidence-based and community-clinical linkage strategies.
These activities and outcomes focus on ensuring that all have access to enough safe and culturally relevant foods that meets their dietary needs and food preferences.