Announcing the NOPREN Special Collection

The NOPREN Special Collection features peer-reviewed publications authored by NOPREN members between 2020-2022. This curated collection showcases the impact of NOPREN’s collaborative research and evaluation activities and spotlights the many ways in which NOPREN researchers have partnered to improve the nation’s nutrition policy research capacity and brought about awareness of policies and practices that work to catalyze national, state and local actions. Included in the collection are articles on early childhood and breastfeeding, drinking water access, healthy food retail, federal nutrition assistance programs (including school meals, SNAP, and WIC), and the effects of the pandemic on food and nutrition security.

For submissions to the 2023 NOPREN Special Collection, please fill out the following form: 2023 Special Collection Submission


2022 NOPREN Special Collection 


To view the 2022 collection, click here. 

1. Krupsky, K. L., Sliwa, S., Seligman, H., Brown, A. D., Liese, A. D., Demissie, Z., & Barnidge, E. (2022). Adolescent health risk behaviors, adverse experiences, and self-reported hunger: Analysis of 10 states from the 2019 youth risk behavior surveys. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, 1–17.

2. Vermont, L. N., Kasprzak, C., Lally, A., Claudio, A., Tumiel-Berhalter, L., Haynes-Maslow, L., Ammerman, A., Raja, S., & Leone, L. A. (2022). A randomized controlled trial of a research-tested mobile produce market model designed to improve diet in under-resourced communities: Rationale and design for the veggie van study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(16), 9832.

3. John, S., Winkler, M. R., Kaur, R., DeAngelo, J., Hill, A. B., Sundermeir, S. M., Colon-Ramos, U., Leone, L. A., Dombrowski, R. D., Lewis, E. C., & Gittelsohn, J. (2022). Balancing mission and margins: What makes healthy community food stores successful. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Special Issue “Healthy Food Businesses: Models for Improving Diet and Healthy Food Access in Under-Resourced Communities”), 19(14), 8470.

4. Martinez, C. E., Ritchie, L. D., Lee, D. L., Tsai, M. M., Anderson, C. E., & Whaley, S. E. (2022). California WIC participants report favorable impacts of the COVID-related increase to the WIC cash value benefit. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(17), 10604.

5. Byker Shanks, C., Houghtaling, B., Shanks, J., Grocke-Dewey, M., Webber, E., Andress, L., Hardison-Moody, A., Patton-Lopez, M., & Haynes-Maslow, L. (2022). Disparities in dietary practices during the COVID-19 pandemic by food security status. Preventive Medicine Reports, 28, 101830.

6. Hecht, A. A., Dunn, C. G., Kinsey, E. W., Read, M. A., Levi, R., Richardson, A. S., Hager, E. R., & Seligman, H. K. (2022). Estimates of the nutritional impact of non-participation in the national school lunch program during COVID-19 school closures. Nutrients, 14(7), 1387.

7. Park, S., Onufrak, S. J., Cradock, A. L., Hecht, C., Patel, A., Chevinsky, J. R., & Blanck, H. M. (2022). Factors related to water filter use for drinking tap water at home and its association with consuming plain water and sugar-sweetened beverages among U.S. adults. American Journal of Health Promotion, 36(5), 813–822.

8. Brown, A. D., Seligman, H., Sliwa, S., Barnidge, E., Krupsky, K. L., Demissie, Z., & Liese, A. D. (2022). Food insecurity and suicidal behaviors among us high school students. Journal of School Health, 92(9), 898–906.

9. Kaur, R., Winkler, M., John, S., DeAngelo, J., Dombrowski, R., Hickson, A., Sundermeir, S., Kasprzak, C., Bode, B., Hill, A., Lewis, E., Colon-Ramos, U., Munch, J., Witting, L., Odoms-Young, A., Gittelsohn, J., & Leone, L. (2022). Forms of community engagement in neighborhood food retail: Healthy community stores case study project. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (Special Issue “Healthy Food Businesses: Models for Improving Diet and Healthy Food Access in Under-Resourced Communities”), 19(12), 6986.

10. Cohen, J. F. W., Polacsek, M., Hecht, C. E., Hecht, K., Read, M., Olarte, D. A., Patel, A. I., Schwartz, M. B., Turner, L., Zuercher, M., Gosliner, W., & Ritchie, L. D. (2022). Implementation of universal school meals during COVID-19 and beyond: Challenges and benefits for school meals programs in Maine. Nutrients, 14(19), 4031.

11. Cradock, A. L., Barrett, J. L., Poole, M. K., Flax, C. N., Vollmer, L., & Hecht, C. (2022). Lead concentrations in us school drinking water: Testing programs, prevalence, and policy opportunities, 2016‒2018. American Journal of Public Health, 112(S7), S679–S689.

12. Katz, B. N., Soldavini, J., Grover, K., Jilcott Pitts, S., Martin, S. L., Thayer, L., Ammerman, A. S., & Lane, H. G. (2022). “Let’s Use This Mess to Our Advantage”: Calls to action to optimize school nutrition program beyond the pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(13), 7650.

13. Gustafson, A., Gillespie, R., DeWitt, E., Cox, B., Dunaway, B., Haynes-Maslow, L., Steeves, E. A., & Trude, A. C. B. (2022). Online pilot grocery intervention among rural and urban residents aimed to improve purchasing habits. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(2), 871.

14. Kasprzak, C. M., Lally, A. E., Schoonover, J. J., Gallicchio, D., Haynes-Maslow, L., Vermont, L. N., Ammerman, A. S., Raja, S., Tumiel-Berhalter, L., Tirabassi, J. N., & Leone, L. A. (2022). Operational challenges that may affect implementation of evidence-based mobile market interventions. BMC Public Health, 22(1), 776.

15. Harper, K., Belarmino, E. H., Acciai, F., Bertmann, F., & Ohri-Vachaspati, P. (2022). Patterns of food assistance program participation, food insecurity, and pantry use among U.S. households with children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nutrients, 14(5), 988.

16. Zuercher, M. D., Cohen, J. F. W., Hecht, C. E., Hecht, K., Ritchie, L. D., & Gosliner, W. (2022). Providing school meals to all students free of charge during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond: Challenges and benefits reported by school foodservice professionals in California. Nutrients, 14(18), 3855.

17. Thompson, H. R., Borger, C., Paolicelli, C., Whaley, S. E., Reat, A., & Ritchie, L. (2022). The relationship between breastfeeding and initial vegetable introduction with vegetable consumption in a national cohort of children ages 1–5 years from low-income households. Nutrients, 14(9), 1740.


2021 NOPREN Special Collection

To view the 2021 collection, click here. 

1. Garner, J. A., Coombs, C., Savoie-Roskos, M. R., Durward, C., & Seguin-Fowler, R. A. (2021). A qualitative evaluation of Double Up Food Bucks farmers’ market incentive program access. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 52(7), 705–712.

2. Baquero, B., Anderson Steeves, E., Polacsek, M., De Marco, M., Chapman, L., Leone, L. A., & Simon, C. (2021). Evaluating the implementation and impact of a healthier checkout programme at a regional convenience store chain. Public Health Nutrition, 24(11), 3520–3529.

3. Lewis, E. C., Colón-Ramos, U., Gittelsohn, J., & Clay, L. (2021). Food-seeking behaviors and food insecurity risk during the coronavirus (COVID-2019) pandemic. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 54(2), 159–171.

4. Seguin-Fowler, R. A., Hanson, K. L., Marshall, G. A., Belarmino, E. H., Jilcott Pitts, S. B., Kolodinsky, J., Sitaker, M., & Ammerman, A. (2021). Fruit and vegetable intake assessed by repeat 24-hr recalls, but not by a dietary screener, is associated with skin carotenoid measurements in children. Nutrients, 13(3), 980.

5. Niles, M. T., Wirkkala, K. B., Belarmino, E. H., & Bertmann, F. (2021). Home food procurement impacts food security and diet quality during COVID-19. BMC Public Health, 21(1), 945.

6. Ritchie, L. D., Lessard, L., Harpainter, P., Tsai, M. M., Woodward-Lopez, G., Tracy, T., Gosliner, W., McCallops, K., Thompson, I., & Karpyn, A. (2021). Restaurant kids’ meal beverage offerings before and after implementation of healthy default beverage policy statewide in California compared with citywide in Wilmington, Delaware. Public Health Nutrition, 25(3), 1-23.

7. Borger, C., Paolicelli, C., Ritchie, L., Whaley, S. E., DeMatteis, J., Sun, B., Zimmerman, T. P., Reat, A., & Dixit-Joshi, S. (2021). Shifts in sources of food but stable nutritional outcomes among children in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(23), 12626.

8. Bertmann, F., Rogomentich, K., Belarmino, E. H., & Niles, M. T. (2021). The food bank and food pantries help food insecure participants maintain fruit and vegetable intake during COVID-19. Frontiers in Nutrition, 8, 673158.

9. Haynes-Maslow, L., Jilcott Pitts, S. B., Boys, K. A., McGuirt, J. T., Fleischhacker, S., Ammerman, A. S., Johnson, N., Kelley, C., Donadio, V. E., Bell, R. A., & Laska, M. N. (2021). Qualitative perspectives of the North Carolina healthy food small retailer program among customers in participating stores located in food deserts. BMC Public Health, 21(1), 1459.

10. Landry, M. J., Phan, K., McGuirt, J. T., Ostrander, A., Ademu, L., Seibold, M., McCallops, K., Tracy, T., Fleischhacker, S. E., & Karpyn, A. (2021). USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) vendor criteria: An examination of US administrative agency variations. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(7), 3545.


2020 NOPREN Special Collection 

To view the 2020 collection, click here. 

1. Lee, D. L., Traseira, R., Navarro, S., Frost, N., Benjamin-Neelon, S. E., Cradock, A. L., Hecht, K., & Ritchie, L. D. (2020). Alignment of state regulations with breastfeeding and beverage best practices for childcare centers and family childcare homes, United States. Public Health Reports, 136(1), 79–87.

2. Winkler, M. R., Zenk, S. N., Baquero, B., Steeves, E. A., Fleischhacker, S. E., Gittelsohn, J., Leone, L. A., & Racine, E. F. (2020). A model depicting the retail food environment and customer interactions: Components, outcomes, and future directions. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(20), 7591.

3. Park, S., Onufrak, S., Cradock, A., Patel, A., Hecht, C., Merlo, C., & Blanck, H. M. (2020). Correlates of infrequent plain water intake among US high school students: National youth risk behavior survey, 2017. American Journal of Health Promotion, 34(5), 549–554.

4. Haynes-Maslow, L., McGuirt, J., Trippichio, G., Armstrong-Brown, J., S Ammerman, A., & A Leone, L. (2020). Examining commonly used perceived and objective measures of fruit and vegetable access in low-income populations and their association with consumptionTranslational Behavioral Medicine, 10(6), 1342–1349.

5. Haynes-Maslow, L., Hardison-Moody, A., Patton-Lopez, M., Prewitt, T. E., Byker Shanks, C., Andress, L., Osborne, I., & Jilcott Pitts, S. (2020). Examining rural food-insecure families’ perceptions of the supplemental nutrition assistance program: A qualitative study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(17), 6390.

6. McLoughlin, G. M., Fleischhacker, S., Hecht, A. A., McGuirt, J., Vega, C., Read, M., Colón-Ramos, U., & Dunn, C. G. (2020). Feeding students during COVID-19—related school closures: A nationwide assessment of initial responses. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 52(12), 1120–1130.

7. Tsai, M., Harpainter, P., Martin, A., Woodward-Lopez, G., Lee, D., & Ritchie, L. (2020). Healthy default beverages in kids’ meals: Evaluating policy adherence and impact in california. Current Developments in Nutrition, 4(Supplement_2), 730–730.

8. Leone, L. A., Fleischhacker, S., Anderson-Steeves, B., Harper, K., Winkler, M., Racine, E., Baquero, B., & Gittelsohn, J. (2020). Healthy food retail during the COVID-19 pandemic: Challenges and future directions. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(20), 7397.

9. Haynes-Maslow, L., Hardison-Moody, A., & Byker Shanks, C. (2020). Leveraging informal community food systems to address food security during COVID-19. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 10(1), 197–200.

10. Niles, M. T., Bertmann, F., Belarmino, E. H., Wentworth, T., Biehl, E., & Neff, R. (2020). The early food insecurity impacts of COVID-19. Nutrients, 12(7), 2096.

11. Andress, L., Byker Shanks, C., Hardison-Moody, A., Prewitt, T. E., Kinder, P., & Haynes-Maslow, L. (2020). The curated food system: A limiting aspirational vision of what constitutes “good” food. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(17), 6157.

12. Kinsey, E. W., Hecht, A. A., Dunn, C. G., Levi, R., Read, M. A., Smith, C., Niesen, P., Seligman, H. K., & Hager, E. R. (2020). School closures during COVID-19: Opportunities for innovation in meal service. American Journal of Public Health, 110(11), 1635–1643.


Support for these products was provided in part by Cooperative Agreement Number (U48DP006374/ACL/ACL HHS/United States) funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) and Prevention Research Centers Program, which includes the Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network (NOPREN). The findings and conclusions in these products are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the CDC or DHHS.

NOPREN infrastructure supported all or part of the collaboration for the included studies. In addition, many received financial support from other sources.