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A Pilot Fruit and Vegetable Prescription (FVRx) Program Improves Local Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, Nutrition Knowledge, and Food Purchasing Practices


Slagel, N.; Newman, T.; Sanville, L.; Thompson, J.J.; Dallas, J.; Cotto-Rivera, E.; Lee, J.S.


Fruit and Vegetable Prescription (FVRx) programs rely on diverse community and clinic partnerships to improve food security and fruit and vegetable consumption among medically underserved patient populations. Despite the growth in these programs, little is known about the feasibility or effectiveness of the unique partnerships developed to implement FVRx programs conducted in both community and free safety-net clinic settings. A 6-month nonrandomized controlled trial of an FVRx program was pilot tested with 54 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)–eligible adults with diet-related chronic conditions. The intervention combined monthly produce prescriptions for local produce at a farmers market, SNAP-Ed direct nutrition education, and health screenings for low-income adults. Process and outcome evaluations were conducted with respective samples using administrative program data (recruitment, retention, and prescription redemption) and self-administered pre- and postintervention surveys with validated measures on dietary intake, nutrition knowledge and behavior, and food purchasing practices. Descriptive statistical analyses were conducted. The FVRx program retained 77.3% of participants who spent nearly 90% of their prescription dollars. After the intervention, the FVRx group reported significantly increased total intake of fruits and vegetables, knowledge of fresh fruit and vegetable preparation, purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables from a farmers market, and significantly altered food purchasing practices compared with the control group. Community-based nutrition education organizations enhance the feasibility and effectiveness of community and clinic-based FVRx programs for improving low-income adults’ ability to enhance food and nutrition-related behaviors. © 2021 Society for Public Health Education.


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