Whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, fruit, and beans are a consistent feature of diets associated with a lower
risk of cancer and other diet-related diseases. For cancer risk reduction, the American Cancer Society
recommendation is to consume at least 2.5 cups of a variety of fruits and vegetables (FV) daily. Other than
dietary choices, weight control and physical activity levels are important modifiable determinants of cancer risk.
The proposed research will finalize a novel, theory-driven intervention developed in preliminary work to
promote access to fresh, unprepared, locally grown FV and build knowledge and skills to increase purchases and
consumption of these foods among low-income adults served by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program
for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). In New Jersey (the location of the study), WIC provides participants
up to $30 in seasonal Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers and monthly cash value vouchers
or CVV (valued at $11 for adults and $8 for children) redeemable at farmers’ markets. The intervention will be
finalized based on lessons learned in preliminary work. The program combines behaviorally-focused nutrition
education with the establishment of a WIC-based farmers’ market (to be implemented in 2019 during the
FMNP voucher issuance period [June 19 to August 19]). Content to address other modifiable determinants of
cancer risk will be added. To create additional opportunities for experiential and hands-on learning, monthly
trips to an area farmers’ market also are planned (between September 1, 2019 [after the WIC-based market is
discontinued] and November 30, 2019 [the end of the local growing season]). The research will employ an
experimental design to initially test the intervention in a sample of 244 adults served by two urban, WIC agency
sites located in Paterson, New Jersey. Intervention effects on objective biomarkers of FV intake, FMNP voucher
redemption, and the redemption of CVV at farmers’ markets will be examined 3 and 6 months after
intervention. Mediation of intervention effects by targeted secondary outcomes, participant satisfaction with the
program, and the cost-effectiveness of the intervention also will be examined. Findings will lay a solid
foundation for an R01 grant application to rigorously evaluate the fully developed intervention.
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