Lessons Learned From the Implementation of Brighter Bites: A Food Co-op to Increase Access to Fruits and Vegetables and Nutrition Education Among Low-Income Children and Their Families.
Sommaire de l'article
Food co-op models have gained popularity as a mechanism for offering affordable, quality produce. We describe the challenges, successes, and lessons learned from implementation of a school-based program using a food co-op model combined with nutrition education to improve access to and intake of fresh fruits and vegetables among low-income children and their families.
Brighter Bites is a 16-week intervention comprising of fresh produce deliveries, recipe demonstrations, and nutrition education. A mixed-methods approach was used comprising survey and focus group data collected from Brighter Bites staff, parents, and teachers. Descriptive statistics and frequencies were computed for the survey data collected.
Brighter Bites was implemented across 9 schools, serving a total of 1530 predominantly low-income families in the 2013-2014 school year. Brighter Bites distributed an average 60.2 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per family per week. Lessons learned included the importance of leveraging existing infrastructure of food banks and schools to implement the program, early school and parent engagement, and incorporating strategies to track and optimize engagement.
Clear expectations and reliable partnerships are keys to the delivery of the Brighter Bites program.