San Francisco Human Services Agency

Helping Californians make healthy choices for life

Project

EatFresh

Tech Specs

  • Drupal 7
  • Mobile-friendly, responsive design
  • SMS and email capability
  • Internationalization (English, Spanish, Chinese)
  • Solr search
  • Geolocation features
  • USDA approved

Background

Beyond food stamps

San Francisco’s Human Services Agency (SFHSA) plays an important role in helping low-income residents get access to services that keep them healthy, including the CalFresh food stamp program. But CalFresh users are often faced with significant time and budget constraints when trying to make healthy choices.

SFHSA and its community partner, Leah’s Pantry, needed help developing a resource for low-income Californians that would complement the CalFresh program and integrate with other community health initiatives. SFHSA wanted to create an online platform that would help users find healthy, low-cost recipes and get advice from nutrition experts. This resource would need to be accessible across many devices, languages, and cultures to meet the needs of California’s diverse low-income population.

EatFresh helps Californians make healthy choices on a budget.
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Approach

Support a shared vision

By taking time to listen to the viewpoints and expertise of each stakeholder, we made sure the project addressed a shared goal that would support San Francisco as well as the larger ecosystem of health services in California.

Gain stakeholder buy-in

We demonstrated the value of the project through prototypes and webinars for stakeholders. In turn, county staff members and community based organizations promoted the project to their constituents as a valuable service.

Serving a diverse population

Because EatFresh users speak multiple languages and use both phones and computers to access the internet, we built a site that users could access smoothly on any device in English, Spanish and Chinese. SMS features make it easy for users to share and save recipes by texting them directly from the site.

Location-based advice

We built the EatFresh site with the ability to auto-detect a person’s location so users can see geographically-specific resources like local farmers markets and nearby county offices. This helps remove barriers to accessing health services and nutritious foods.

Talk with real users

Our team interviewed county-level staff, food bank managers, and potential users at the HSA food stamp office to find out what was most important to them. We conducted usability testing and gathered feedback throughout the project.

Get the word out

To help spread awareness about EatFresh, we created a print campaign so people could be informed through postcards, bus posters, and flyers. We targeted our efforts toward the populations that would most benefit from the program.

I’ve gotten very positive and impressed feedback since the site’s launch. The CivicActions team members are superstars — they helped us meet our goals and create a user-friendly community site that will help us keep folks talking about nutrition! Tiana Wertheim, Senior Analyst, San Francisco Human Services Agency

Impact

  • Underserved Californians can access quality health advice and nutrition info
  • Resources are tailored to fit real-life situations of low-income constituents
  • Other agencies and community organizations can integrate EatFresh into their programs
  • Audiences are engaged with healthy lifestyle learning on social media
  • Health education resources and activities have expanded beyond the website
  • More Californians are reading nutrition labels and cooking at home with healthy ingredients

Explore

See our work

EatFresh.org: Tasty recipes on your budget
Video: How to Use EatFresh.org

See the impact

EatFresh Impact Evaluation Results

More on the life of EatFresh since launch

About EatFresh
EatFresh Overview from SNAP-Ed Toolkit

102

Recipes shared via text
message each month

15,000

Visitors to the
site each month

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