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Implementing a Healthy Food Distribution Program: A Supply Chain Strategy to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Access in Underserved Areas


Program activities include distribution services, comprising 1) weekly order coordination and delivery, 2) prices that approximate those available at wholesale markets, and 3) no minimum order requirements (accommodating small orders of desired varieties). Technical assistance consists of 1) a personalized, one-on-one curriculum progression of 3 to 15 sessions focused on produce management, pricing and profitability; marketing and advertising; merchandising and display; and store layout; 2) targeted funding; and 3) resource linkages and navigation including connections to supportive networks, institutions, and funders. Program activities provide store owners with 9 key outputs: 1) reduced staff time needed to sell produce, 2) reduced up-front monetary investment needed to sell produce, 3) reduced risk of waste associated with selling produce, 4) increased opportunity to experiment with different varieties and quantities of produce to identify the right product mix for customers, 5) increased human capital (knowledge and skills associated with selling fresh produce), 6) increased technical capital (resources and equipment needed to sell fresh produce such as refrigeration, produce baskets, shelving, and signage), 7) increased built capital (general capital improvements to support business operations), 8) increased economic capital (connection to financing institutions and lenders), and 9) increased social capital (connections to supportive networks and institutions including neighborhood agencies and city departments). Together, these outputs are expected to positively influence store owners’ motivation and ability to stock fresh produce, leading to increases in the availability, affordability, and appeal of produce in their stores (mid-term outcomes for store owners). Subsequent increases in sales of these items are expected to increase consumption by community members (mid-term outcome for community members) and ultimately positively affect community health and well-being.

Key program activities, potential outcomes, and effects of the COMPRA healthy food distribution program.

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Page last reviewed: May 24, 2018