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UCCE efforts improve quality of and demand for fresh produce at WIC A-50 stores

  • Author(s): Kaiser, Lucia L
  • Lamp, Cathi
  • Ganthavorn, Chutima
  • Farfan-Ramirez, Lucrecia
  • Behar, Maya
  • Cantwell, Marita
  • Hardesty, Shermain D
  • et al.
Abstract

In 2005, the Institute of Medicine recommended major revisions in the food packages provided by the federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), leading to new regulations that allow participants to purchase a wide variety of fruits and vegetables with their vouchers. In support of this policy change, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Cooperative Extension (UCCE) developed educational materials to promote fresh produce among WIC participants and offered postharvest handling training at WIC-only stores, known as A-50 vendors, in order to improve produce quality. A survey conducted after the educational sessions found that WIC participants had increased knowledge of produce and A-50 vendors showed improved postharvest handling after the education sessions. This research demonstrates that combining nutrition education with postharvest handling curriculum can lead to a successful educational program that supports increased demand among WIC participants for fresh produce.

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