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Austin, TX, United States

Thi C.A.,University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Horton K.D.,Limetree Research LLC | Loyo J.,Limetree Research LLC | Jowers E.M.,University of Texas at Austin | And 3 more authors.
Preventing Chronic Disease | Year: 2015

Background: The Farm to Work program is a modified community-supported agriculture model at worksites in Texas. Community Context: The objective of the Farm to Work program is to increase fruit and vegetable intake among employees and their households by decreasing cost, improving convenience, and increasing access while also creating a new market for local farmers at worksites. The objectives of this article were to describe the development, implementation, and outcome of a 5-year participation trend analysis and to describe the community relationships that were formed to enable the successful implementation of the program. Methods: The Farm to Work program began in November 2007 as a collaborative effort between the nonprofit Sustainable Food Center, the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Web development company WebChronic Consulting LLC, and Naegelin Farm. The program provides a weekly or biweekly opportunity for employees to order a basket of produce online to be delivered to the worksite by a local farmer. A 5-year participation trend analysis, including seasonal variation and sales trends, was conducted using sales data from November 2007 through December 2012. Outcome: The total number of baskets delivered from November 2007 through December 2012 was 38,343; of these, 37,466 were sold and 877 were complimentary. The total value of sold and complimentary baskets was $851,035 and $21,925, respectively. Participation in the program increased over time and was highest in 2012. Interpretation: The Farm to Work program increased access to locally grown fruits and vegetables for employees and created a new market for farmers. Increased program participation indicates that Farm to Work can increase employees' fruit and vegetable consumption and thus help prevent chronic diseases in this population. Source


Evans A.E.,University of Texas at Austin | Jennings R.,University of Texas at Austin | Smiley A.W.,Sustainable Food Center | Medina J.L.,University of Texas at Austin | And 4 more authors.
Health and Place | Year: 2012

The purpose of this longitudinal pilot study was to measure the impact of introducing farm stands in low-income communities with limited access to fresh and quality fruits and vegetables (F&V) on residents' F&V consumption. Two farm stands were placed outside two local community sites one day a week for 12 weeks. A variety of locally grown, culturally appropriate produce was sold at the stands. Data on F&V intake, awareness and usage of farmers' markets, family behaviors, and importance of eating F&V were collected from individuals (n=61) before and after farm stands were placed in the two communities. Paired sample t-tests, chi-square and McNemar tests were used to evaluate the impact of the intervention on the outcome variables. Significance level was set at p<.05. Significant increases were found for participants' consumption of fruit, fruit juice, tomatoes, green salad, and other vegetables (P<.05). Additionally, participants also reported increases in mediating variables of F&V consumption. This study underscores the potential of farmers' markets to increase F&V consumption through increasing F&V access in low-income communities. © 2012. Source


Evans A.,University of Texas at Austin | Ranjit N.,University of Texas at Austin | Rutledge R.,Sustainable Food Center | Medina J.,University of Texas at Austin | And 4 more authors.
Health Promotion Practice | Year: 2012

Objectives. (1) To measure the effects of different levels of exposure to a multiple-component garden-based intervention on middle school students' fruit and vegetable (F&V) consumption and related variables and (2) to determine the separate effects of each of the intervention components on F&V consumption. Design. Unequal treatment-control posttest only. Setting. Five middle schools in ethnically diverse communities. Participants. Two hundred and forty-six adolescents (59% Hispanic; 70% low-income). Intervention. The Sprouting Healthy Kids intervention consists of six components: (1) in-class lessons, (2) after-school gardening program, (3) farm-to-school, (4) farmers' visits to schools, (5) taste testing, (6) field trips to farms. Outcome measures. F&V consumption; motivation for eating F&V; self-efficacy for eating F&V; F&V preference; preference for unhealthy foods; knowledge. Analysis. Linear regression models controlling for gender, ethnicity/race, and income. Results. Compared with students who were exposed to less than two intervention components, students who were exposed to two or more components scored significantly higher on F&V intake, self-efficacy, and knowledge and lower on preference for unhealthy foods (p < .05). The farmers' visits, taste testing, and cafeteria components had the largest effect sizes but were not significant. Conclusions and implications. Interventions targeting adolescent F&V behavior change should include multiple components such as farmers' visits to the school and taste testing. © 2012 Society for Public Health Education. Source

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