Measuring the Health of the Food We Distribute with the Food Assessment Scoring Tool (FAST)
Traditionally, quantity (lbs.) of food distributed has been the driving measure of success in hunger relief. With increased awareness of health and hunger, along with a general increase in the demand for healthier foods by clients, there is a need to develop tools to measure the nutritional value of the food distributed by food banks and pantries to help them make informed sourcing decisions. The Feeding America Foods to Encourage measure has provided a helpful first step to doing this. Building on this work, the Food Assessment Scoring Tool (FAST) has been developed to provide increased specificity in measurement through a collaborative partnership between Second Harvest Heartland and the University of Minnesota, with financial support from Target, Inc. FAST enables food banks and their agency partners to measure the nutritional quality of foods sourced and distributed at any one point in time, as well as measure change over time.
Kristen Williamson, Registered Dietitian and FAST Program Coordinator, Second Harvest Heartland
Kate Burggraff, – Program Innovation & Impact Manager, Second Harvest Heartland Food Bank
Riverside A: Healthy Emergency Food System