157673 Neighborhood-based farmers' markets: A tool for promoting community food security

Monday, November 5, 2007: 11:00 AM

Darcy A. Freedman, MPH , Program in Community Research and Action, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Caitlin Skinner, BA , English, Grinnell College, Nashville, TN
Frazier K. Beverly, ASN , RiverWest Community Development Corporation, Nashville, TN
Mary B. Wakefield, BS , Cooperative Extension Program, Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN
Bola Teyinka , Nashville REACH 2010, Matthew Walker Comprehensive Health Center, Nashville, TN
Food security is defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) as “access at all times to enough food for healthy, active living.” Key to the USDA's definition of food security is its emphasis on foods that facilitate healthful living, thus, food security is dependent upon access to fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-dense foods. A growing body of evidence reveals that the people at greatest risk for food insecurity often reside in environments characterized as “food deserts,” locales with limited or no access to healthy foods. Community members residing in food deserts in Nashville, TN identified lack of food outlets as a primary concern for the health and well-being of community members, especially for residents with limited transportation options. To address this concern, a community-based participatory research process was used to develop two neighborhood-based farmers' markets. The farmers' markets were implemented in two low-income neighborhoods: one is predominantly comprised of African Americans and the other of whites and Latinos. Evaluation findings presented in this session are informed by data from anonymous customer surveys and market operations records. Nearly 500 customers shopped at the markets resulting in the sale of over 2,500 pounds of fresh, locally grown produce. Trends in increased fruit and vegetable consumption were found among market customers. The markets also served as a training opportunity for the youth managers. Both markets received positive feedback from residents and yielded small profits that will be used by the community groups for future food security efforts.

Learning Objectives:
1. Define food security, food deserts, and environmental barriers to health. 2. Review community-based participatory research process and how it was used to inform this research. 3. Evaluate the volume and diversity of produce entering the community as a result of this project. 4. Describe the impact of the neighborhood-based farmers’ markets on fruit and vegetable consumption.

Keywords: Food Security, Community-Based Health Promotion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.