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
Federal food programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) are the first line of defense against food insecurity in the United States. However, these benefits are often not sufficient to meet all of the food needs of … More
Assessing Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program families' online food purchasing behaviors to inform policies targeting expansion of SNAP benefits
Online grocery services may be a promising strategy to increase food access by creating systems that increase the self-reliance of communities to meet their food needs; however, there may be unintended consequences that should be considered. Despite the potential to increase healthier choices, individuals may purchase more soft drinks and … More