Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Julie Schumacher


Objective: The purpose of the study was to examine perspectives on food access among a low-income, food desert community through participation in a grant funded CSA program.Design: Healthy Eating Program is a pilot program assessing the effect of a CSA intervention on health among residents living in a food desert. Participants were surveyed through an initial survey and final survey with questions regarding perceived health status and daily food stressors. Data was collected through Qualtrics and analyzed using SPSS. Setting: Low-income, food desert community residing in the Westside of Bloomington, Illinois. Participants: Forty participants 18 years or older, low-income and residing within the Westside. Results: Perceived health status of individuals increased significantly throughout the program as did participants skipping fewer meals. However, having enough time to cook healthy meals and shopping budget for other food did not significantly change. Access to fresh produce is a motivation for participants to eat better, cook at home more often and feel healthier but does not necessarily correlate to less food stress in participant’s lives. Conclusions: The CSA program increased access to fruits and vegetables for this low-income community; however, the fresh produce is logistically difficult for participants due to time and budget constraints. CSA programs grant access and improve perceptions of health but do not help with stress of food such as affordability for other products, convenience, and knowledge on unfamiliar foods. Future programs should provide more flexible logistics, education on prepping, cooking and storing the new vegetables and attempt to utilize additional measures to assess health outcomes. KEYWORDS: community-supported agriculture; low-income; food desert; health; food stressors


Imported from Thome_ilstu_0092N_11902.pdf


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