Supporting Equitable Food Systems Through Food Assistance at Farmers' Markets
ABSTRACT The failure to consider access to food resources in an integrated way may lead to inequalities in nutritional opportunities among populations. Working with community groups and other public agencies, the San Francisco Department of Public Health has led interagency food system planning in San Francisco, California, since 2002. We report on one of the interventions within that initiative-a partnership between a public health agency, a local nonprofit organization, and the local food stamp program to institutionalize improved access to farmers' markets for federal food assistance beneficiaries. We further report on monitoring data collected at farmers' markets that documents significant and sustained increases of utilization by food stamp recipients since the initial intervention.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Rajiv Bhatia, Nov 14, 2014
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ABSTRACT: Farmers' markets are community health promotion interventions that increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables. As farmers' markets continue to develop, it is important to strategically locate them in settings that are accessible to populations disparately affected by health disparities. One potential setting is a community health center. The goal of this analysis is to extend existing research on community readiness to identify indicators of preparedness among community health centers for establishing onsite farmers' markets. The sampling frame for the readiness assessment included all community health centers in South Carolina (N = 20) representing 163 practice sites. Data collection included two brief online surveys, in-depth key informant interviews, and secondary analysis of contextual data. Five themes related to readiness for establishing a farmers market at a community health center were identified: capacity, social capital, awareness of health problems and solutions, logistical factors, and sustainability. Findings from this study provide guidance to researchers and community health center staff as they explore the development of environmental interventions focused on reducing diet-related health conditions by improving access to healthy foods.Journal of Community Health 06/2011; 37(1):80-8. DOI:10.1007/s10900-011-9419-x · 1.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Research indicates poor nutrition is a leading determinant of the development of chronic disease, and increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is one method for decreasing obesity. Many policies have focused on increasing the demand for fruits and vegetables through price reductions and coupons. However, without ensuring a stable supply, increased demand can continue to raise prices, crowding out individuals who may otherwise have purchased fruits and vegetables and ultimately leading to continued disparities in access. This paper presents a review of selected state-level policy options recently proposed or implemented in states across the United States, and provides an evidence-based lens through which food access policy can be shaped in the Midwest. This review and potential framework uses Wisconsin to illustrate the feasibility of different state-level decisions and their potential impact on particular populations. Future supply-side policies to consider include expanding Electronic Benefit Transfer to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC),program and farmers markets, incentivizing the purchase of locally grown produce, assisting local specialty farmers directly, and/or establishing a state-level food policy council. This review reveals that a food policy council would create a more sustainable policy analysis process to better ensure future policy adoption is truly comprehensive, encompassing the production, distribution and purchase of locally grown fruits and vegetables.WMJ: official publication of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin 12/2012; 111(6):283-8.
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ABSTRACT: Despite evidence that food insecurity negatively impacts child health, health care providers play little role in addressing the issue. To inform potential primary care interventions, we sought to assess a range of challenges faced by food insecure (FI) families coming to an urban, pediatric primary care setting. A cross-sectional study was performed at a hospital-based, urban, academic pediatric primary care clinic that serves as a medical home for approximately 15,000 patients with 35,000 annual visits. Subjects included a convenience sample of caregivers of children presenting for either well child or ill care over a 4 months period in 2012. A self-administered survey assessed household food security status, shopping habits, transportation access, budgeting priorities, and perceptions about nutrition access in one's community. Bivariate analyses between food security status and these characteristics were performed using Chi square statistics or Fisher's exact test. The survey was completed by 199 caregivers. Approximately 33 % of families were FI; 93 % received food-related governmental assistance. FI families were more likely to obtain food from a corner/convenience store, utilize food banks, require transportation other than a household car, and prioritize paying bills before purchasing food. FI families perceived less access to healthy, affordable foods within their community. Thus, FI families may face unique barriers to accessing food. Knowledge of these barriers could allow clinicians to tailor in-clinic screening and create family-centered interventions.Journal of Community Health 07/2013; 38(6). DOI:10.1007/s10900-013-9731-8 · 1.28 Impact Factor