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P54 Outcome Evaluation of the University of Tennessee Extension Farmers’ Market Fresh Nutrition Education Program

      Background

      In 2015, University of Tennessee Extension (UT Extension) piloted the nutrition education program Farmers’ Market Fresh (FMF) with a primary objective of encouraging fruit/vegetable (FV) consumption by limited-resource families through purchases at farmers’ markets. FMF is funded by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) and has since been expanded to over 30 markets statewide.

      Objective

      To measure the effectiveness of FMF among limited-resource families.

      Study Design, Settings, Participants

      Altarum conducted an outcome evaluation to assess exposure, changes in attitudes and behavior, and demographics. Adults were surveyed at SNAP-Ed eligible farmers’ markets with FMF (intervention) and without FMF (comparison) in July and August 2018.

      Measurable Outcome/Analysis

      Descriptive statistics described the sample and outcome variables. Confidence intervals estimated associations between FMF and outcomes.
      Multivariate logistic regression models were conducted to determine the impact of FMF on outcomes, controlling for demographic characteristics.

      Results

      A total of 382 surveys were completed; 211 intervention and 171 comparison. Intervention respondents were two and a half times as likely as comparison to receive information on healthy eating and nutrition, almost three times as likely to learn about purchasing fresh FV on a budget, and 2.4 times as likely to learn about selecting a variety of FV. Intervention respondents were significantly more likely than comparison to report being very confident in their ability to purchase fresh FV on a budget (69% versus 50%) and to select a variety of fresh FV (82% versus 68%). Respondents attending the market at least once per week were more likely than those attending less than once per week to report increased FV consumption. Intervention respondents with minor children in the household were significantly more likely than those without children to report trying a new FV (74% versus 52%) and trying a new recipe (74% versus 46%).

      Conclusion

      FMF was successful in reaching farmers’ market shoppers and increasing confidence and behaviors related to healthy eating.
      Funding: SNAP-Ed.