Online Program

Utilizing Mobile Farm Stands to Increase Access to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in Rural Maine

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Ashley Tetreault, MBA, Partnerships For Health, Augusta, ME
Troy Fullmer, Division of Population Health, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Augusta, ME
Michelle Mitchell, MSocSc, Partnerships For Health, Augusta, ME
Introduction: Consistent consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables is linked with a myriad of positive health outcomes including healthy weight maintenance and decreased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. A major impediment to such consumption for adults residing in rural areas is inadequate access to fresh foods, creating the phenomenon of the food desert. This is particularly concerning given the health disparities facing individuals residing in rural areas, since many Maine communities exist in such food deserts.

Methodology: In order to increase access, the Division of Population Health, Maine CDC, worked with a statewide food distribution center (Good Shepherd Food Bank), the Maine Federation of Farmer’s Markets, community partners such as Federally Qualified Health Centers, and community coalitions to develop  and implement Mobile Farmstands (MFS). Mobile Farmstands provide access to fresh fruits and vegetables to remote areas while maintaining the ‘merchant and customer’ interaction of a traditional farmer’s market model. An important feature of the MFS pilot was the subsidized price of food and customers’ ability to make purchases using cash, credit, or EBT cards.

Results: The current study examined the efficacy of a MFS pilot with potential implementation state-wide forthcoming. Structured one-on-one interviews were conducted with customers and partners from the host site and implementing agency; survey data were also collected from customers. We will discuss the facilitators and barriers of the MFS implementation as well as lessons learned for future implementation of the MFS statewide and in other states.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
Describe three components of the Mobile Farmstand implementation Identify three factors which contributed to successful implementation of the Mobile Farmstand Identify three strategies for overcoming barriers hindering individuals’ use of the Mobile Farmstand

Keyword(s): Evaluation, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the founder and Executive Director of Partnerships For Health and a trained clinical psychologist with expertise in qualitative research. I have taken the lead positions in various evaluation projects at a state and local level. I am a qualitative researcher with expertise in developmental evaluation, community based participatory research, and the use of innovative approaches such as Photovoice. Partnerships For Health is the lead independent evaluator for the HRSA-funded CHANNELS Grant.
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.