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Health Promot Pract. 2013 Jan;14(1):69-74. doi: 10.1177/1524839911405849. Epub 2011 Nov 18.

Community perspectives on barriers and strategies for promoting locally grown produce from an urban agriculture farm.

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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.


Although much is understood about barriers to healthy food consumption in low-income, urban communities, knowledge regarding the crucial next step of building feasible, community-supported approaches to address those barriers remains limited. This qualitative study used in-depth interviews (n = 20), focus groups (n = 2), and participant observations (n = 3) to identify strategies to promote locally grown produce from an urban food security project, Produce From the Park (PFP), an urban farm. Informants included community organization representatives and residents from low-income neighborhoods in a mid-Atlantic city. Informants identified structural and cultural barriers to purchasing healthy food, including price, location, food culture, and lack of interest. Participants proposed a number of strategies, such as distribution through mobile food carts and farm stands, marketing new foods through taste tests and cooking demonstrations, and youth mentorship. Informants also described their perceptions of the local urban farm and suggested ways to increase community buy-in. Strategies mentioned were inexpensive and incorporated cultural norms and local assets. These community perspectives can provide insights for those promoting healthy eating in urban African American communities through urban food security projects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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