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  1. Anzman-Frasca, Stephanie PhD
  2. Folta, Sara C. PhD
  3. Angstrom, Heather M. MS
  4. Brown, Clarissa M. MS, MPH
  5. Beets, Michael W. PhD
  6. Finley, Anna Marie MA
  7. Nelson, Miriam E. PhD
  8. Economos, Christina D. PhD


Context: Volunteer-led out-of-school-time (OST) programs, such as 4-H, scouting, and youth sports, reach a large population of children and are positioned to offer opportunities for healthy eating. However, cost is a barrier to providing healthy snacks such as fruits and vegetables (FVs) during OST.


Objective: Offering discounts through grocery store partnerships has shown promise in addressing this barrier in structured, staff-led after-school programs. We tested this model in volunteer-led OST programs and evaluated it using mixed methods.


Design/Setting: The Snack It Up (SIU) intervention was designed to promote FV snacks to volunteer-led OST programs through weekly $5 grocery store discounts. Participation was limited to 1 leader per program.


Participants: Thirty-five of 36 recruited OST program leaders completed the study; 16 were enrolled in SIU and 19 in a comparison group.


Main Outcome Measures: We assessed the following: (1) discount redemption among SIU leaders; (2) snacks served by SIU and comparison group leaders via photographs from 3 to 4 OST program sessions during SIU implementation; and (3) SIU leader perspectives using key informant interviews before and after implementation.


Results: SIU leaders saved an average of $48.75 on FV snacks throughout the intervention ($2.90 per week, more than one-fifth of typical self-reported spending on snacks). SIU leaders also served a greater frequency (100% of sessions vs 75%, P < .001) and variety of FVs (an average of 3.5 types per session vs 1.3, P < .001) and fewer salty/sweet snacks (0.0 vs 1.3 types per session, P < .001) than those in the comparison group and expressed positive impressions of SIU.


Conclusions: Partnerships between OST programs and grocery stores are a promising avenue for promoting healthier snacks during OST.