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Sharon Thomson, BS
Judy Ugwuegbu, PharmD Twitter
Kimberly Montez, MD, MPH Twitter
Sarah Langdon, MPH, MCHES
Scott Best, MBA Twitter
Daniel Sostaita, BA, MDiv
Michelle Franklin, RN, PhD Twitter
Rachel Zimmer, RN, DNP, AGPCNP-C Twitter


Food insecurity (FI) is a growing public health problem. Produce prescriptions are known to improve healthy eating and decrease FI; however, few studies have incorporated community voice prior to its implementation. In this study, we aimed to elicit perspectives of individuals at risk for FI and the potential impact of a fresh food prescription (FFRx) program.


We conducted this qualitative descriptive study through an academic medical center in collaboration with community partners. We conducted focus groups involving Latinx (N = 16) and African-American (N = 8) adults in community settings. Data were interpreted using an inductive thematic analysis.


Three overarching themes emerged: (1) fresh food accessibility was limited by cost, house-hold size, and transportation but enhanced by food pantries, budgeting, and education; (2) cooking behaviors were curbed by time constraints and unfamiliarity but propagated by passion, traditions, and communal practices; and (3) health and wellness deterrents included unhealthy diets driven by cultural and familial norms; however, weight loss and awareness of comorbidities were positive motivators. Participants shared their preference for local produce and cooking classes as components of a FFRx program while raising concerns about low participation due to the stigma of receiving aid.


Our findings illuminated interest in engaging in a FFRx program and learning ways to prepare healthy foods. A program distributing fresh produce and healthy lifestyle education could close gaps identified in African-American and Latinx communities at risk for FI.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review, Volume 9, Number 1, January 2022, pp. 670-682(13)
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.