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Poster presentation for City Food Policy Conference_Manik Puranik 100424.pdf (774.32 kB)

FreshStreet Community Scheme: household vouchers for fresh fruit and vegetables

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posted on 2024-04-11, 09:34 authored by Manik Puranik, Carol Wagstaff, Clare Relton, Clare Pettinger, Michelle Thomas, Jiang Pan, Paridhi Garg, Lisa Howard, Trisha Bennett

Background and aim

Fruit and vegetables (FV) are generally unaffordable or unavailable in disadvantaged communities. Existing UK FV voucher schemes require proof of eligibility, which can be a barrier and create stigma. FreshStreet Community (FSC) aims to test the feasibility of different ways to enable local suppliers to sell fresh FV at community centres in areas of high deprivation.

Description

All households on selected streets in Reading and Plymouth will be able to order and/or purchase FVs at their community centre starting in November 2023. Some streets near the community centres will also receive FV vouchers (£10) every fortnight. All households will be eligible, regardless of size, type, or income. Academic and community researchers will co-develop engagement activities to support citizens in sharing their knowledge and skills of cooking and eating with others.

To evaluate the FSC scheme, FV purchasing activity and voucher use will be monitored. Food and wellbeing chats with households will be conducted. The researcher will ask households, vendors, community workers, and public health teams about their views, thoughts, and experiences of the scheme. The community centre will provide social connectivity and host the collection of NHS Health Check data.

Significance

This study is part of FoodSEqual, which is exploring ways to make our UK food system healthier and more sustainable, especially for people living in disadvantaged communities.

The FSC scheme enables households to choose their FV, supports local suppliers, and makes FV more affordable and available for everyone in the community. We will report preliminary findings on this first feasibility test.

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