Community-oriented actions by food retailers to support community well-being: a systematic scoping review.
OBJECTIVES: Growing inequalities, austerity public funding, and the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to heightened interest in mobilising the assets and resources within communities to support health and well-being. We aimed to identify the type of actions or initiatives by food retail stores intended to support local communities and contribute to well-being. STUDY DESIGN: A Scoping Review. METHOD: A scoping review was conducted in Scopus, Web of Science, and of grey literature to identify the extent of study of food retail stores in supporting community well-being, types and outcomes recorded from community-oriented actions. Data extraction included: population targeted, the content of initiative/action, outcomes recorded and key insights. Studies were grouped into broad categories relating to their actions and objectives. RESULTS: Actions were associated with either strengthening communities or public health prevention or promotion. Few studies reported clearly on impact, and most accounts of impact on well-being and broader community outcomes were narrative accounts rather than objectively measured. Although rigorous capture of outcomes was absent, there were consistent themes around partnership and community insights that are relevant to the development and implementation of future actions in communities. CONCLUSIONS: This is an under-researched area that may nevertheless hold potential to support the broader public health effort in communities. To provide clear recommendations for specific investments, there is merit in identifying a subset of health and well-being outcomes most likely to be associated with food retailer community actions in order to assess and capture impact in future. We propose that the theoretical underpinning associated with asset-based approaches, which take account of context and community conditions, would be a useful framework for future study.
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