Abstract A lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables (F&Vs) is associated with consumption of fewer F&Vs and higher risk of obesity, especially for lower-income individuals. It is widely believed that the addition of new food retail opportunities could improve F&V consumption and subsequently reduce the chronic disease burden. Observational studies provide some support for these hypotheses, but contradictions exist. In this study we sought to examine if the introduction of a food retailer affects F&V consumption in lower-income communities. We used a systematic PRISMA approach to conduct this study. We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses for academic journal references and gray literature published before August 2018. Included studies were those looking at the effect of the introduction of a new food retailer on F&V consumption. Studies were also categorized based on which dimensions of food access were targeted by the food retailer. We identified 15 studies meeting inclusion criteria: 11 studies reported a positive increase in F&V consumption attributable to the introduction of a new food retailer, of which 6 were statistically significant. The remaining 4 studies, all of which examined the impact of introducing a new retail supermarket, showed no change or a decrease in F&V intake. Results from studies which change the food environment generally support the idea that increased access to healthy food improves diet, but more studies are needed in order to assess the differences between the various types of retailers, and to identify strategies for improving impact. Understanding which types of new food retail programs are most likely to impact diet has implications for policies which incentivize new food retail.
Recruiting Community Partners for Veggie Van: Strategies and Lessons Learned From a Mobile Market Intervention in North Carolina, 2012–2015 (2017)
Gina L. Tripicchio, MS, MSEd; Jacqueline Grady Smith; Janelle Armstrong-Brown, MPH, PhD; Jared McGuirt, PhD; Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, MHA, PhD; Sarah Mardovich; Alice S. Ammerman, DrPH; Lucia Leone, PhD
Abstract Background Food access interventions are promising strategies for improving dietary intake, which is associated with better health. However, studies examining the relationship between food access and intake are limited to observational designs, indicating a need for more rigorous approaches. The Veggie Van (VV) program was a cluster-randomized intervention designed to address the gap between food access and intake. In this article, we aim to describe the approaches involved in recruiting community partners to participate in VV.
Community Context The VV mobile market aimed to improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables by providing subsidized, high-quality, local produce in low-resource communities in North Carolina. This study describes the strategies and considerations involved in recruiting community partners and individual participants for participation in the VV program and evaluation.
Methods To recruit partners, we used various strategies, including a site screener to identify potential partners, interest forms to gauge future VV use and prioritize enrollment of a high-need population, marketing materials to promote VV, site liaisons to coordinate community outreach, and a memorandum of understanding between all invested parties.
Outcome A total of 53 community organizations and 725 participants were approached for recruitment. Ultimately, 12 sites and 201 participants were enrolled. Enrollment took 38 months, but our approaches helped successfully recruit a low-income, low-access population. The process took longer than anticipated, and funding constraints prevented certain strategies from being implemented. Interpretation Recruiting community partners and members for participation in a multi-level, community-based intervention was challenging. Strategies and lessons learned can inform future studies.