Objective: To explore Family Nutrition Program assistants’ perception of farmers’ markets and alternative agricultural practices for themselves and their clients. Methods: Cross-section design, survey of Virginia Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (NEP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education Family Nutrition Program assistants (n = 52) working with limited-resource populations. Results: Twenty-one percent to 55% of FNP assistants valued alternative agricultural practices, and only 5% to 8% of FNP assistants perceived that their clients did so. Benefits to shopping at farmers’ markets included supporting local economies, and food price, quality, and safety. Barriers included lack of transportation, location/convenience, hours, and food prices. Assistants rated the benefits to shopping at farmers’ markets similarly for themselves and their clients, but rated many of the barriers to shopping at farmers’ markets as significantly lower (P < .05) for themselves than for their clients. Conclusions and Implications: Future assistant trainings should address the connection between agriculture and health, and how to overcome barriers to shopping at farmers’ markets for their clients.
Misyak, S., Johnson, M., McFerren, M., Serrano, E., Family Nutrition Program Assistants’ Perception of Farmers’ Markets, Alternative Agricultural Practices, and Diet Quality. Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior. Volume: 46 Issue: 5 Pages: 434-439 Published: SEP/OCT 2014