Increasing access to farmers’ markets is a recommended approach to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. However, there are challenges to increasing access in underserved and lower-income neighborhoods, including short growing seasons, lack of access to culturally appropriate or desired produce, and high cost of produce at farmers’ markets. The “Fresh to You” program, a partnership between Brown University and a local produce distributor, offers a potential solution by bringing year-round, discount produce markets to six convenient community locations in lower-income neighborhoods. This study evaluated the “Fresh to You” program’s impact on children’s consumption of fruits and vegetables. Parents of children ages 3 to 13 years were recruited at the markets to participate in a five-month cohort study. Parents completed a baseline survey, a follow-up survey five months later, and participated in focus groups. They answered questions about their children’s fruit and vegetable intake using a validated food frequency questionnaire. From baseline to five months, there was a statistically significant increase in children’s daily fruit and vegetable consumption of almost half a cup. Feedback from parents and gatekeepers at market sites indicated that the market was well received, but affordability remained an issue for many families.
Effectiveness of Fresh to You, a Discount Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Market in Low-Income Neighborhoods, on Children’s Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, Rhode Island, 2010-2011
Identifying and Evaluating Food Environment Changes Improving Access to Affordable Healthy Foods in Low-Income Communities
The goal of this research is to evaluate the Fresh to You (FTY) program, which aims to increase year-round access to affordable, high-quality, fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income families through implementation of year-round discount fruit and vegetable markets in community organizations. Specifically, this work will consist of (a) conducting … More
The Academic, Behavioral, and Health Influence of Summer Child Nutrition Programs: A Narrative Review and Proposed Research and Policy Agenda
Since 1975, the US Department of Agriculture has sponsored the Summer Food Service Program as a nationwide strategy for providing nutritious meals to children and youth (aged 18 years or younger) in low-income communities during the summer months. Many programs are sponsored by community organizations as well as school districts … More
Evaluation of the USDA FINI Program Finds Benefits for Consumers, Farmers and Retailers, and Local Economies
In December 2018, Congress passed a new farm bill which included a reauthorization of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program. This brief summarizes the findings of a recent qualitative evaluation of FINI, which concludes that the program has benefits for consumers, farmers and … More