Indicators of readiness and capacity for implementation of healthy food retail interventions




Healthy Food Retail, Dietary Behavior, Policy, System, and Environmental Interventions, Program Implementation


Healthy food retail (HFR) interventions are a recommended strategy to improve the dietary behaviors of low-income residents with limited access to healthy food; however, tools are needed to assess, tailor, and implement HFR plans to local contexts. The present study identifies factors influ­encing HFR implementation and presents findings related to identifying, operationalizing, and priori­tizing facilitators of and barriers to implementing HFR interventions within low-resource rural and urban contexts. Practitioners and community resi­dents, recruited from nine counties in Ohio, par­ticipated in semistructured interviews and focus groups. Grounded theory methodology was used to develop themes and indicators of readiness and capacity for successful HFR implementation. Con­sensus conference feedback from an expert panel prioritized themes and indicators based on their perceived relevance and importance for successful­ly implementing HFR interventions. Five themes were identified as influential factors: (1) corner store awareness and perception, (2) organizational and practitioner capacity, (3) community attitudes and perceptions, (4) logistical factors, and (5) net­works and relationships. Additionally, 18 indicators within the five themes were identified to further illustrate influential factors to HFR implementa­tion. The themes and indicators presented in this research have been synthesized into the PSE READI tool[1] (developed outside of this research). The PSE READI tool uniquely provides an oppor­tunity to assess, tailor, and implement HFR plans to the local contexts by considering the key themes and influential factors that emerged from this community-level, qualitative research.

[1] The PSE READI website is


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Author Biographies

Jennifer Sanchez-Flack, University of Illinois at Chicago

MPH, PhD; Visiting Research Assistant Professor, Depart­ment of Pediatrics, University of Illinois Cancer Center, and the Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago

Kakul Joshi, Case Western Reserve University

MPH; PhD Candidate, Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences at School of Medicine

Eunice E. Lee, Case Western Reserve University

PhD, MSW; National Research Service Award Fellow, Department of Bioethics, School of Medicine

Darcy A. Freedman, Case Western Reserve University

MPH, PhD; Director, Mary Ann Swetland Center for Environmental Health



How to Cite

Sanchez-Flack, J., Joshi, K., Lee, E., & Freedman, D. (2021). Indicators of readiness and capacity for implementation of healthy food retail interventions. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 10(3), 127–143.