Healthy food subsidies for low-income households: The impact of the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program
Date: Thursday, January 12, 2023
Time: 14:00 - 15:00 ET
To register, CLICK HERE
Healthy food subsidy programs allow recipients to select and purchase their own healthful food in a dignified and autonomy-enhancing manner. It may be particularly beneficial to offer healthy food subsidies in farmers’ markets as shopping in farmers’ markets has been shown to promote fruit and vegetable intake in low-income households. Farmers’ markets also act as community hubs, enhancing social connectedness by facilitating interactions among community members, which may improve mental well-being. The BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program is a healthy eating initiative that supports farmers’ markets, strengthens food security, and is the largest government-funded healthy food subsidy program in Canada. The program currently provides > 6,500 low-income households with 16 weeks of coupons ($27/week) to purchase healthy foods (fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts) in farmers’ markets, and optional nutrition skill-building activities (e.g. food budgeting classes). In 2019, we conducted the first RCT of a farmers’ market healthy food subsidy program to examine the impact of the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program on the diet quality, food insecurity status, mental well-being, sense of community and malnutrition risk of low-income adults. A concurrent longitudinal qualitative study examined participants’ experiences and perceived outcomes of participating in the program. This session will describe findings from the RCT and longitudinal qualitative investigation.
- Present findings from a RCT that examined the impact of the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program on the diet quality, food insecurity status, mental well-being, sense of community and malnutrition risk of low-income adults
- Present findings from a longitudinal qualitative investigation into participants’ experiences and perceived outcomes of participating in the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program
Dana Olstad PhD, RD - University of Calgary
Michelle Aktary PhD Candidate, RD - University of Calgary
Stephanie Caron-Roy MSc, RD - Thompson Rivers University
Moderator: Dana Olstad PhD, RD - University of Calgary
About the Speakers:
Dr Dana Olstad is a Registered Dietitian and an Associate Professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary. Her research program investigates the impact of policy on socioeconomic inequities in diet quality and health. She is currently leading several randomized controlled trials to examine the impact of healthy food subsidies on the dietary patterns, food insecurity risk and mental and physical health of low-income adults.
Michelle Aktary is a Registered Dietitian and PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Calgary. Her Doctoral research focuses on socioeconomic inequities in diet quality and health in Canada. In particular, she is studying how policy interventions can reduce household food insecurity and promote healthy dietary patterns among low-income adults.
Stéphanie Caron-Roy is a Registered Dietitian and MSc graduate from the University of Calgary. Her thesis focused on exploring experiences and perceived program outcomes of low-income adults participating in the BC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon Program. She is currently working as a Research Associate on two mixed methods, global health studies occurring in Uganda.
To register, CLICK HERE
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