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Research Project: Childhood Obesity Prevention

Location: Children's Nutrition Research Center

Title: Perceived influences on farmers' market use among urban, WIC-enrolled women

Author
item Di Noia, Jennifer - William Patterson University
item Monica, Dorothy - St Joseph'S Health Center
item Cullen, Karen - Children'S Nutrition Research Center (CNRC)
item Thompson, Deborah - Debbe

Submitted to: American Journal of Health Behavior
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/23/2017
Publication Date: 9/1/2017
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5801802
Citation: Di Noia, J., Monica, D., Cullen, K.W., Thompson, D.J. 2017. Perceived influences on farmers' market use among urban, WIC-enrolled women. American Journal of Health Behavior. 41(5):618-629.

Interpretive Summary: We conducted 13 group discussions with 54 women enrolled in the WIC program to understand both perceived barriers to and factors that helped them purchase fruits and vegetables (FV) at farmers' markets, FV shopping practices, and reactions to a planned online lesson to promote farmers' market use. Common barriers were transportation issues and not knowing the locations of markets. Increasing the number of area markets, expanding market hours and locations, increasing transportation options to markets, and raising awareness of the importance of eating healthfully helped women use the farmer's markets. Although purchasing FV at supermarkets and corner stores and bodegas was common, women were concerned about the freshness, cost, quality, and variety of produce sold at these places. These findings will aid in designing interventions to promote farmers' market use in this population.

Technical Abstract: We identified perceived barriers and facilitators to purchasing fruits and vegetables (FV) at farmers' markets, FV shopping practices, and reactions to a planned online lesson to promote farmers' market use among urban, inner-city WIC-enrolled women. Thirteen focus groups were conducted with 3-5 participants each (N=54). Common barriers were structural (transportation issues) and informational (not knowing the locations of markets). Improving access (by increasing the number of area markets, expanding market hours and locations, and increasing transportation options to markets) and raising awareness of the importance of eating healthfully were common facilitators. Information was sought on the locations of farmers who accept FV vouchers provided by WIC, FV sold at farmers' markets, reasons to eat locally grown FV, and FV food safety and preparation skills. Questions were raised about the accessibility of an online lesson; providing information via in-person seminars and handouts also was recommended. Although purchasing FV at supermarkets and corner stores and bodegas was common, concerns were expressed about the freshness, cost, quality, and variety of produce sold at these venues. Findings aid understanding of factors to consider in designing interventions to promote farmers' market use in this population.