193862 Fresh to You: An innovative, public-private partnership to increase fruit and vegetable consumption

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 3:15 PM

Kim Gans, PhD, MPH, LDN , Institute for Community Health Promotion, Brown University, Providence, RI
Gemma Gorham, MPH , Institute for Community Health Promotion, Brown University, Providence, RI
Eliza Lawson, MPH , Initiative for Healthy Weight, Rhode Island Department of Health, Providence, RI
Eating adequate fruits and vegetables (F&V) has been linked to lower health risks. Barriers for eating more F&V include cost, limited availability and hectic lifestyles. To address these barriers, Fresh to You (FTY), an innovative, public-private partnership between a F&V distribution company, Brown University and the RI Department of Health, has been piloted at worksites and a community-based organization (CBO) serving low-income families. The F&V distributor provides high quality, fresh F&V directly to the sites at discounted prices.

At the CBO, biweekly markets are held with the produce marked up slightly to cover implementation costs. In this pilot, 64% of participants reported that they bought more F&V because of the market; 76% said that they would eat more F&V; and 66% said that other household members would eat more F&V.

In worksites, FTY initially implemented a market model whereby employees came to a biweekly market in the workplace to purchase F&V. A pilot with 233 participating employees found that 73% reported purchasing more F&V because of the market; 73% reported that they ate more F&V and 68% reported that other household members ate more F&V. A preorder model has now also been initiated at worksites whereby employees can order F&V online through the FTY website (www.freshtoyou.com) and individual, pre-packaged orders are delivered to the worksite at predetermined times on a weekly basis.

FTY has been positively received by site managers and consumers and has pilot data demonstrating promise in increasing F&V availability, access and consumption. FTY is now being expanded to 6 CBO, 16 low income housing projects and 24 worksites to see if it is a cost-effective intervention for increasing F&V intake. Research will include studying the F&V delivery system with and without additional educational components.

This presentation will describe the history of FTY; discuss the pilot programs and their results; discuss the diffusion of the FTY program into different community-based locations, and present preliminary results of this process. FTY is a true “win-win” partnership between private industry and public health that can be replicated widely if shown to be effective.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the background and history of the Fresh To You Program. 2. Discuss the Fresh to You pilot programs and their results. 3. Discuss the diffusion of the Fresh To You program into different community-based locations and preliminary results of this process.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Community-Based Partnership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have several research grants on this topic and am presenting on my own research. I have been working on this project for several years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.