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SuperShelf received two research grants to evaluate the impact of the SuperShelf intervention on client's diet and health through our partnerships and past work in transforming food shelves. To date, we have received funding from:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)  2017-2021

  • Duke-UNC USDA Center for Behavioral Economics and Healthy Food Choice Research (BECR)  2016

These  grants allowed us to establish best-practices, confirmed through scientific evaluation, for Minnesota and beyond.


Building off previous research on the impact of SuperShelf, we received a 5 year evaluation grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study SuperShelf in a greater number of food shelves and with more rigorous evaluation measures. This NIH evaluation launched in 2017 and ran until 2021.


This 2016 pilot study evaluated the impact of the SuperShelf intervention on the nutritional quality of food selected by clients at two food shelves in Minnesota. Behavioral Economic strategies were used to increase healthy food selection. In addition, two control sites were also selected and evaluated to provide a comparison setting.

Through this formative study, we found SuperShelf to show potential to increase the nutritional quality of foods available and selected at food shelves. This pilot was funded by BECR and UMN Extension Family Development/SNAP-Ed.

Read the full results and conclusions in the 2-Pager. 

Client outcomes: 
  • Diet

  • Markers of cardiovascular health 

  • Food selections from food shelf 

  • Satisfaction with culturally-specific foods and services

Food shelf outcomes:

  • Nutritional quality of food available to clients

  • Implementation successes and challenges

  • Availability of culturally specific foods


In years 4-5 of the grant we will focus on analysis as well as

dissemination at the local, regional, and national level.


Funding provided from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Heart,
Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) number 1 R01 HL 136640-01.

Principal Investigator: Caitlin Caspi ScD, Department of Family Medicine
and Community Health, University of Minnesota.

See the report of our NIH funded study:


The intervention was facilitated by University of Minnesota-Extension in 16 food shelves selected through an application process. They worked to implement the SuperShelf intervention which included (1) capacity-building and infrastructure enhancements at the food shelf level to improve the supply of healthy foods and (2) using behavioral economic and education strategies to encourage healthy food selection among clients.

Applications to the SuperShelf NIH Evaluation are no longer being accepted as of Sept 1, 2018. If you are interested in transforming your food shelf, please visit our Get Involved Page!

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