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

Kimberly A. Gudzune, Claire Welsh, Elisa Lane, Zach Chissell, Elizabeth Anderson Steeves, Joel Gittelsohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2770-2774
Number of pages5
JournalPublic health nutrition
Volume18
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 14 2015

Keywords

  • Agriculture
  • Community networks
  • Food supply
  • Poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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