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
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
The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store as well as by store type. Some communities have limited access to stores that carry healthful staple foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich foods, and … More