Healthy Eating Strategy #2: Improve Mechanisms for Purchasing Foods from Farmers' Markets and Farms

Our Healthier Communities Initiatives are built on the concept that local communities can work together to give all community members healthy choices and support the pursuit of healthy lifestyles.  More than 160 Ys are working in collaboration with community leaders to make changes in policies and the physical surroundings in those communities so that healthy living is within reach for individuals of all ages and backgrounds.

Healthy Eating Strategy #2: Improve Mechanisms for Purchasing Foods from Farmers' Markets and Farms

Purchasing food from farmers' markets has wide-reaching impact. Providing vouchers to low-income populations increased vegetable and fruit consumption. Supplying school salad bars with fresh produce from farmers' markets increased salad bar participation across all grade levels.


Studies have found that improving mechanisms for purchasing foods from farmers’ markets has wide-reaching impact. For example, providing vouchers to low-income populations (seniors and WIC participants) for use at farmers’ markets increased vegetable and fruit consumption. In addition, providing homebound elders baskets of vegetables and fruits from farmers’ markets increased the percentage of elders who consumed five or more vegetables and fruits daily. Supplying school salad bars with fresh produce from farmers’ markets dramatically increased salad bar participation in schools across all grade levels. These increases in fresh produce consumption are expected to result in improved health.


  1. Anderson, J.V., Bybee, D., Brown, R., Mclean, D., Garcia, E., Breer, L., & Schillo, B. (2001). 5 a Day Fruit and Vegetable intervention improves consumption in a low income population. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 101(2), 195–202.
  2. Anliker, J.A., Winne, M., & Drake, L.T. (1992). An evaluation of the Connecticut Farmer's Market Coupon Program. Journal of Nutrition Education, 24, 185–191.
  3. Conrey, E., Frongillo, E., Dollahite, J., & Griffin, M. (2003). Integrated program enhancements increased utilization of farmers' market nutrition program. Journal of Nutrition, 133, 1841–1844.
  4. Henchy, G. (2008). New healthy WIC food packages: Farmers' markets can play a key role in providing fruits and vegetables. Food Research and Action Center. Retrieved November 15, 2010.
  5. Kunkel, M.E., Luccia, B., & Moore, A.C. (2003). Evaluation of the South Carolina Seniors Farmers' Market Nutrition Education Program. Journal of American Dietetic Association, 103, 880–883.
  6. Johnson, D.B., Beaudoin, S., Smith, L.T., Beresford, S.A., & LoGerfo, J.P. (2004). Increasing fruit and vegetable intake in homebound elders: The Seattle Farmers' Market Nutrition Pilot Program. Preventing Chronic Disease, 1(1): A03.
  7. Mascarenhas, M., & Gottlieb, R. (2008). The farmers market salad bar: Assessing the first three years of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Program. Occidental, A: Community Food Security Project Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, Occidental College, 1–24.

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