An Integrated Approach to Increasing Farmers Market Use among Lower Income African American Families
Low healthy food access disproportionately affects low-income and minority communities. Direct farm-to-consumer retail outlets such as farmers markets have been proposed as a strategy to improved health food access, nutrition and health in low-income communities. Despite the development of USDA-sponsored food assistance programs that incentivize use of farmers markets by low-income families, studies have observed lower rates of usage among low-income African Americans. Additionally, these studies have found that lack of awareness is a major barrier to farmers market usage.
This integrated project combines research and extension to develop behavioral and environmental strategies to increase farmers market use among lower-income African American families by accomplishing these aims:
- Assess awareness, attitudes and perceptions of farmers market use among low-income African American families.
- Identify potential barriers in market nutrition environment by auditing local farmers markets in African American communities.
- Work alongside community stakeholders to test the feasibility and acceptability of a culturally tailored nutrition education program designed to increase usage of farmers markets among low-income African American families.
This integrated project addresses the AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area by aiming to positively influence the diet-related behaviors of low-income African American families.