215718 Impact of school, community and home gardens on fruit and vegetable access and consumption in low-income neighborhoods in Silicon Valley

Monday, November 8, 2010

Aimee M. Reedy, EdD, MPH , The Health Trust, Campbell, CA
School, community and home gardens promote healthier eating and physical activity while enhancing neighborhoods and community cohesion. Gardens address the obesity epidemic by making locally produced nutritious food and physical activity more readily available to people of all ages. Through funding from AmeriCorps, The Health Trust has led a partnership of ten local organizations to form the Silicon Valley HealthCorps. The goal of the three-year project is to use gardens and the work of 46 AmeriCorps members to address health equity by bringing fresh fruits, vegetables and education to residents of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. Specific outcomes of the project include increased knowledge about healthy eating and urban agriculture; increased access to locally grown produce; and, increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. An evaluation of the project is underway which utilizes survey and program monitoring methods to assess (1) changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behavior related to healthy eating and gardening among project participants; (2) increases in the number and quality of community and school gardens in low-income neighborhoods, including the establishment of 8 new community and school gardens and 100 home gardens; (3) increases in production and distribution of produce in the highest need areas of the two counties, with the goal of 180,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables; and (4) changes in community resources and engagement, including the participation of at least 4000 residents in the project. Data collection is in progress, and year-one findings will be available in August 2010 and presented in this session.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify aggregate and differential impacts of garden interventions aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in children. 2. Describe barriers and successes related to enhancing and expanding school, community and home gardens in low-income neighborhoods. 3. Explain the benefits and challenges of using a diverse set of organizations and interventions to evaluate and achieve a common set of outcomes.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a public health professional with 20 years experience, and I have conducted applied research and evaluation in the field of public health for the past 10 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.