Locating and establishing farm-to-market and garden-to-market collaborations in food deserts to improve access to and consumption of healthy foods in broward county, Florida
Monday, November 4, 2013
: 1:30 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.
BACKGROUND: Over 63,000 Broward County residents live in food deserts (areas with limited healthy food options). These residents are predominately black, poor, and experience higher than county average rates of obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. Studies indicate connections between the lack of fresh produce consumption in food deserts and chronic conditions and diseases. They also find that residents actively involved with community gardens increase their consumption of fresh produce. Therefore, TOUCH, a Community Transformation Grant in Broward County, made possible through funding by the CDC, established weekly resident-centered farmers' markets near community gardens located in "food deserts" to facilitate communities' access to and consumption of healthy foods. APPROACH: Farm/garden-to-market enterprises involve selling farm/garden produce at local farmers' markets. TOUCH developed partnerships with Community Redevelopment Agencies, housing authorities, local growers, existing community gardens, and local residents to engage communities in the local production, distribution, and consumption of fresh produce. These food desert-located gardens and markets became community resources for healthy living and positive community interactions. RESULTS: TOUCH measured intervention effectiveness through resident participation, customer surveys, and anecdotal and sales data. Preliminary data indicate increased sales, increased purchase of fresh produce, and increased self-reported consumption of fruits and vegetables. Additional positive outcomes include increased garden volunteers and increased physical activity from visiting gardens/markets (45% bike/walk). Residents also reported meeting neighbors and sharing recipes. DISCUSSION: In "food deserts," locating farmers' markets near community gardens can improve access to and consumption of healthy foods, long-term health of residents, and a sense of community among participants.
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Identify agencies to engage in community-based garden-to-market enterprises.
Develop collaborative models with municipalities.
Assess the political and community requirements for public private partnerships.
Discuss how to dentify and engage individual influencers (unofficial leaders) in the community for input and support.
Keyword(s): Food and Nutrition, Health Disparities
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Director the CDC CTG and USDA FMPP grants, have earned a MPA, and have been involved in the development, planning and implementation of community-based interventions for over 20 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.