211264 On-site farmer's market to increase access and to improve the consumption of fresh produce

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 5:20 PM

Avtar K. Nijjer-Sidhu, PhD, RD , Environmental Health Division, Kern County Public Health Services Department, Bakersfield, CA
Several national institutes recommend that Americans eat a daily average of five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables. With obesity at epidemic levels in the United States, most Americans fail to meet the minimum. Kern County is a top producing agriculture county, however many residents find it increasingly difficult to incorporate fresh produce into their diet. The Kern County Department of Public Health (KCDPH) in partnership with the Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program hosted its second annual summer famer's market to increase access of fresh produce to the community, to WIC recipients, and to employees. The KCDPH is in a low income neighborhood that has few grocery stores with several convenience stores and fast food restaurants. The WIC certified farmer's market ran for 16 weeks with four to five vendors selling fresh fruits, vegetables, and all natural juices. The market was advertised to employees, communities, and WIC recipients and KCDPH staff conducted the Kaiser Permanente's Farmer's Market Patron Survey. The institution of an on-site farmer's market increased the WIC farmer's market coupon redemption rate to 68%, approximately 4% higher than 2007 and 22% higher than 2006. In addition, an on-site market increased employee consumption of fresh produce promoting worksite wellness and filled a gap of increasing access to fresh produce in a low income community. Due to the success of the market, KCDPH and the farmer's market manager will develop a policy that will allow for instituting farmer's markets on other county facilities in low income neighborhoods.

Learning Objectives:
1.Recognize the importance of instituting an on-site farmerís market 2.Explain how to incorporate farmerís market as part of a worksite wellness program 3. Describe ways to collaborate with different community groups to help sustain a farmerís market

Keywords: Community-Based Public Health, WIC

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the person who organized the on-site farmer's market and I provide technical support to surrounding communities.
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.