Feasibility of a Home-Delivery Produce Prescription Program to Address Food Insecurity and Diet Quality in Adults and Children
diet-related disease; eating behavior; food insecurity; nutrition education; produce prescription
Produce prescription programs aim to improve food insecurity (FI) and nutrition but their effectiveness is unclear. We conducted a pilot study to demonstrate the feasibility and explore the potential impact of a family-based, home-delivery produce prescription and nutrition education program. We measured enrollment, satisfaction, participation, and retention as measure of feasibility. Adult participants answered pre-post self-report questionnaires assessing FI, child and adult fruit and vegetable intake, and culinary literacy and self-efficacy. To understand participants' lived experiences, qualitative interviews were conducted at the 6-month time point. Twenty-five families were enrolled. Feasibility measures indicate participants were generally satisfied with the program but there were important barriers to participation. Qualitative data revealed themes around reduced food hardship, healthy eating, budget flexibility, and family bonding. Fruit and vegetable consumption increased in a small subgroup of children, but post-intervention intake remained below recommended levels, particularly for vegetables. FI scores were not significantly different post-intervention, but qualitative findings indicated improved access and reliability of food. This is the first intervention of its kind to be evaluated for feasibility and our results suggest the intervention is well-received and supportive. However, further study, with a larger sample size, is needed to understand factors influencing participation and assess effectiveness.
Fischer, Laura; Bodrick, Nia; Mackey, Eleanor R.; McClenny, Anthony; Dazelle, Wayde; McCarron, Kristy; Mork, Tessa; Farmer, Nicole; Haemer, Matthew; and Essel, Kofi, "Feasibility of a Home-Delivery Produce Prescription Program to Address Food Insecurity and Diet Quality in Adults and Children" (2022). GW Authored Works. Paper 976.