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Increasing access to fresh produce by pairing urban farms with corner stores: a case study in a low-income urban setting

  • Kimberly A Gudzune (a1) (a2), Claire Welsh (a3) (a4), Elisa Lane (a5), Zach Chissell (a6), Elizabeth Anderson Steeves (a3) (a4) and Joel Gittelsohn (a3) (a4)...
Abstract
Objective

Our objective was to pilot collaborations between two urban farms with two corner stores to increase access to fresh produce in low-income neighbourhoods.

Design

We conducted a pre–post evaluation of two farm–store collaborations using quantitative distribution and sales data. Using semi-structured interviews, we qualitatively assessed feasibility of implementation and collaboration acceptability to farmers and storeowners.

Setting

Low-income urban neighbourhoods in Baltimore, MD, USA in 2012.

Subjects

Pair #1 included a 0·25 acre (0·1 ha) urban farm with a store serving local residents and was promoted by the neighbourhood association. Pair #2 included a 2 acre (0·8 ha) urban farm with a store serving bus commuters.

Results

Produce was delivered all nine intervention weeks in both pairs. Pair #1 produced a significant increase in the mean number of produce varieties carried in the store by 11·3 (P<0·01) and sold 86 % of all items delivered. Pair #2 resulted in a non-significant increase in the number of produce varieties carried by 2·2 (P=0·44) and sold 63 % of all items delivered.

Conclusions

Our case study suggests that pairing urban farms with corner stores for produce distribution may be feasible and could be a new model to increase access to fruits and vegetables among low-income urban neighbourhoods. For future programmes to be successful, strong community backing may be vital to support produce sales.

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Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: Email gudzune@jhu.edu
References
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Public Health Nutrition
  • ISSN: 1368-9800
  • EISSN: 1475-2727
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