Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period

8-4-2016

Degree Program

Nutrition

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2016

Month Degree Awarded

September

Advisor Name

Lisa

Advisor Middle Initial

M

Advisor Last Name

Troy

Co-advisor Name

Lindiwe

Co-advisor Last Name

Sibeko

Abstract

Mobile produce markets (MPM) are a community-based strategy to improve produce access in areas with few fruits and vegetables (FV) retail options. The purpose of this thesis is to assess the functionality of MPM in low-income urban neighborhoods. This thesis includes three studies. Study 1 investigates FV availability in areas around MPM locations (n=13). We found limited fresh FV availability in stores, but high prevalence of 100% juice, and canned FV and beans. Study 2 applied questionnaire data from MPM shoppers (n=143) to assess MPM experiences. Chi Square was used to compare shopping behaviors between older (≥ 60) and younger (18-59.9 years) adults. Separate logistic regression models were used to predict Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) use, money spent, shopping frequency, and distance travelled to MPM, with age, race/ethnicity, sex, living alone/with others, and EBT in models. Participants indicated positive experiences with five dimensions of access: availability (variety), accessibility (location), affordability (price), acceptability (freshness), and accommodation (EBT use). Older shoppers were more likely to be long-term shoppers (P=0.002) and use EBT (P=0.012). Living alone predicted EBT use (P=0.03), shopping weekly (P=0.03), and traveling < 1 mile (P=0.02). In Study 3, we interviewed 16 farmers to investigate experiences and perceptions of local markets including MPM. Income and community interaction were prominent themes. Farmers identified community organizations as important liaisons to coordinate MPM distribution and communicate community needs. MPM offer a promising strategy for serving low-income and minority populations—to be organized by communities themselves and to bring needed food directly to neighborhoods.

First Advisor

Dr. Lisa Troy

Second Advisor

Dr. Lindiwe Sibeko

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