211386 Assessing farmer's markets and produce stands in California's Central Valley

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 4:40 PM

Krista Stiffler, MPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Liz Schwarte, MPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Sally Lawrence Bullock, MPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Sarah Samuels, DrPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Background: Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP) grantees are working to improve access to healthy foods and create safe places for children to play. As part of this program, grantees in the six original CCROPP sites have all engaged in developing or improving local farmer's markets or produce stands, in an effort to bring fresh produce to underserved, resource-poor communities.

Methods: Each of the six CCROPP counties identified a farmer's market or produce stand for assessment. Samuels & Associates developed a tool to assess the market environment, as well as a stakeholder interview focused on the process of market/stand development and/or improvement. Baseline data were collected in the summer and fall of 2008.

Results: Almost all of the markets/stands were initiated as part of CCROPP; all had the goal of attracting the entire community, including low-income residents. The markets and stands were developed in collaboration with a variety of partners, including flea market operators and school districts. EBT tokens or WIC vouchers were accepted and actively promoted at most of the markets/stands. A wide range of produce was observed, including items traditional to the local Hispanic and Southeast Asian populations.

Conclusions: Many factors contribute to the development and maintenance of market/stands in disadvantaged communities. CCROPP communities demonstrated that farmer's markets and produce stands can operate successfully in low-income neighborhoods. The lessons learned in creating the successful Central Valley markets/stands can be applied to other communities seeking to increase access to fresh produce as a means of improving nutrition environments.

Learning Objectives:
List three aspects of market/stand development that are unique to California’s Central Valley Discuss the partnerships between CCROPP grantees and community organizations that supported the development of the markets/stands Describe the process of engaging community members in market/stand development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: MPH degree and several years of experience working in evaluation of chronic disease prevention programs.
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.