Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables (JSY)

New York Department of Health, Bureau of Nutrition Risk Reduction


Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables (JSY) is a direct education and PSE change intervention designed to prevent overweight/obesity and reduce long-term chronic disease risks through the promotion of increased fruit and vegetable consumption. Using nutrition education workshops and food demonstrations, JSY works to ensure low-income families in New York eat nutritious foods, make the most of their food budgets, prepare foods in a safe manner, increase physical activity, and drink healthier beverages.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

Intervention Reach and Adoption

JSY targets SNAP-eligible low-income urban and rural families, women with children and elderly populations, who access food banks, food pantries, shelters, farmers markets and community centers.

Setting: Community

Target Audience: All

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

The JSY curriculum includes a series of 12 learner-centered and facilitated group discussion lesson plans focusing on the following topic areas: Improving dietary quality; Making healthy food choices using MyPlate; Budgeting food dollars to eat healthier; Cooking with beans; Healthy meal planning; Healthy portion sizes; Understanding nutrition facts labels; Benefits of fiber; Safe food handling; Being physically active; Consuming healthier beverages and Shopping at farmers’ markets. In addition, JSY workshops provide quick and easy recipe demonstrations, taste samples of fruit and vegetable recipes and practical information for families to use.

Marketing and PSE change includes distribution of fresh produce to participants attending JSY workshops (from partner food banks), distribution of Health Bucks (funded by the DOH HPNAP), implementing healthy food donation guidelines and a “Healthy Shelf” program to improve access to healthy foods in emergency feeding programs, partnering with other community organizations to provide local produce link workshops at participating member organizations, and facilitating urban farming initiatives.

Intervention Materials

JSY intervention materials for both professionals and consumers can be found on their website: www.jsyfruitveggies.org. Professionals including JSY nutrition educators, nutrition professionals and funders have access to the following JSY resources: the curriculum, nutrition handouts, recipes and nutrition newsletters. Consumers can access recipes and money saving tips in two languages plus find the location of JSY nutrition education workshops that they can attend.

Evidence Summary

JSY Participant Surveys are used to measure participant knowledge gains and intended behavior change outcomes, specifically if participants intend to increase fruit and vegetable consumption; prepare JSY recipes on their own; increase physical activity; and decrease consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages as a result of participating in JSY nutrition education classes. As a result of participating in JSY nutrition education classes, surveys show participants intended to:

  • Prepare JSY recipes on their own (84%)
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables (86%)
  • Increase physical activity (75%)
  • Decrease consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (65%)

Classification: Emerging

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST) Changes – Medium Term (MT) Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT) Population Results (R)
Individual ST1, ST2, ST3, ST4 MT1, MT2, MT3
Environmental Settings MT5
Sectors of Influence

Evaluation Materials

The JSY Participant Survey is used to report intention after attending a JSY workshop to eat more fruits and vegetables, prepare JSY recipes on their own, increase physical activity, and decrease consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

Additional Information

Website: The JSY website (www.jsyfruitveggies.org) includes access to the JSY curriculum, nutrition handouts, recipes and nutrition newsletters for professionals, and access to recipes and money saving tips in two languages plus locations of JSY nutrition education workshops for consumers.

Contact Persons:

Paula Brewer (Program Director)
Email: Paula.Brewer@health.ny.gov
Phone: (518) 402-7333

Bryan Tusch (Health Program Administrator)
Email: Bryan.Tusch@health.ny.gov
Phone: (518) 402-7333