Published: October 2015

ID #: 65054

Journal: Prev Chronic Dis

Authors: Gorham G, Dulin-Keita A, Risica PM et al.

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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.

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