Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Assisting Towards a Healthy Diet for the Most Deprived in Post-Crisis Greece: An Evaluation of the State Food Provision Program

Version 1 : Received: 17 November 2020 / Approved: 18 November 2020 / Online: 18 November 2020 (14:16:49 CET)

How to cite: Vlassopoulos, A.; Filippou, K.; Pepa, A.; Malisova, O.; Xenaki, D.; Kapsokefalou, M. Assisting Towards a Healthy Diet for the Most Deprived in Post-Crisis Greece: An Evaluation of the State Food Provision Program. Preprints 2020, 2020110481 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0481.v1). Vlassopoulos, A.; Filippou, K.; Pepa, A.; Malisova, O.; Xenaki, D.; Kapsokefalou, M. Assisting Towards a Healthy Diet for the Most Deprived in Post-Crisis Greece: An Evaluation of the State Food Provision Program. Preprints 2020, 2020110481 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202011.0481.v1).

Abstract

Introduction In 2016 the European Union setup its first structured food provision program to combat food insecurity. We aimed to measure the program’s capacity in assisting its beneficiaries to achieve a healthy diet and measure their satisfaction. Methods A computational study was carried out to calculate daily food provision per person under the program for January 2016-December 2017. A cross sectional survey in 3942 beneficiaries took place in December 2017-June 2018 collecting anthropometric, sociodemographic and program satisfaction data. Descriptive statistics were performed and reported as relatively frequencies, mean ± standard deviation. Results Dairy, fresh meat, legumes, sugar, olive oil and tomato concentrate were the most commonly procured items. The program’s contribution to vegetable, dairy and cereal intake was the lowest (3.4%, 6.1%, 6.0% respectively) as opposed to free sugars (12.2%) and oils (24.5%). The program’s algorithm favors greatly (almost 3-fold) single person applications compared to 4+ persons applications. The monetary value was estimated at 21.23±23.4 euros/food provision, however 64.4% of beneficiaries reported a high positive impact on the household budget. 50.7% and 41.6% reported high positive impact on feelings of anxiety and security, respectively. ~70% of the beneficiaries were highly satisfied with the foods provided, with lower scores for quality and shelf-life (50.7% and 58.8% high respectively). Conclusions The program is met by high beneficiary satisfaction and is perceived as a substantial assistance. Increases in the amounts and variety of foods delivered, with a focus on fruit, vegetables and fish should be considered, to further improve the program’s dietary impact.

Subject Areas

food insecurity; food provision; food assistance program,; impact assessment

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