Online Program

Farm to preschool: Food procurement models to increase local food access among preschoolers, families and communities

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:30 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.

Zoe Phillips, MS, MPH, CHES, Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
Rosa Romero, MS candidate, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
Nicolas Gorman, MPH, EdD, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
Victor Hernandez, MPA candidate, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
With childhood obesity continuing at epidemic levels, early intervention targeting healthy food access, nutrition education, policy-level change, as well as developing healthy eating habits can potentially help reverse this unhealthy trend. Targeting the 0-5 population necessarily involves both parents and caregivers, and is of particular importance in low income communities where there are high levels of obesity and limited access to fresh and healthy foods. Farm to Preschool in Southern California uses a multi-level approach to address childhood obesity in part through increased local food access to low income families and nutrition and garden-based education to preschoolers. Multiple models of local food sourcing to families and preschoolers have emerged based on the needs of various types of childcare settings. A sustainable weekly market basket program at two sites serves center-based preschool parents, teachers, and staff. A produce distributor links local farm fresh food to a central kitchen to serve 27 Head Start centers, and farmers' markets and gardens source local food to smaller family home care sites. Extensive evaluation demonstrated improvements in knowledge and preferences for fruits and vegetables, as well as trends towards increasing produce consumption. Interviews with teachers and parents show the feasibility and affordability for multiple models of local food sourcing at schools and homes. Recognized by Let's Move! Child Care in 2012, the Farm to Preschool program successfully increases both knowledge of and access to local healthy food, demonstrating a means to enhance the reach of local food systems and work toward improving health outcomes.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify multiple models for local food procurement in the childcare environment. Assess multi-level components of Farm to Preschool as a means to approach childhood obesity. Discuss the role of local food systems in improving health outcomes of low income families and childcare providers.

Keyword(s): Child Care, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the author of multiple funded grants on Farm to Preschool, am a recipient of an award from Let's Move! Child Care, have been a prior accepted presenter at APHA (2010), and am co-leading the national Farm to Preschool movement.
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.