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Nutrients 2017, 9(7), 726; doi:10.3390/nu9070726

Adults and Children in Low-Income Households that Participate in Cost-Offset Community Supported Agriculture Have High Fruit and Vegetable Consumption

1
Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
2
Department of Community Development and Applied Economics, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA
3
Department of Public Health, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27834, USA
4
Gillings School of Global Public Health and School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
5
The Evergreen State College, Ecological Agriculture and Food System, Olympia, WA 98505, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 May 2017 / Revised: 19 June 2017 / Accepted: 4 July 2017 / Published: 8 July 2017
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Abstract

This paper examines fruit and vegetable intake (FVI) in low-income households that participated in a cost-offset (CO), or 50% subsidized, community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. CSA customers paid farms upfront for a share of the harvest, and received produce weekly throughout the growing season. A cohort of adults and children 2–12 y in a summer CO-CSA were surveyed online twice: August 2015 (n = 41) and February 2016 (n = 23). FVI was measured by the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Fruit and Vegetable Screener (FVS) and an inventory of locally grown fruits and vegetables. FVI relative to United States (US) recommendations and averages, and across seasons, were tested with non-parametric tests and paired t-tests (p < 0.05). Both adults and children in the CO-CSA had higher FVI than the US averages, and more often met recommendations for vegetables. Some summer fruits and vegetables were more often eaten when locally in-season. The CO-CSA model warrants further examination as an avenue for improving vegetable consumption among adults and children in low-income households. However, causality between CO-CSA participation and FVI cannot be inferred, as CO-CSA participants may be positive deviants with respect to FVI. A multi-state randomized controlled trial is currently underway to evaluate impacts of CO-CSAs on FVI and related outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: food access; food insecurity; dietary quality; community supported agriculture; local foods food access; food insecurity; dietary quality; community supported agriculture; local foods
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hanson, K.L.; Kolodinsky, J.; Wang, W.; Morgan, E.H.; Pitts, S.B.J.; Ammerman, A.S.; Sitaker, M.; Seguin, R.A. Adults and Children in Low-Income Households that Participate in Cost-Offset Community Supported Agriculture Have High Fruit and Vegetable Consumption. Nutrients 2017, 9, 726.

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