Hispanic Faith-Based Community Leaders and Lay-Leaders' Perception on Developing Farm to Church Program to Promote Fruit and Vegetable Consumption: A Qualitative Exploration




Mendoza-Gonzalez, Raymundo

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Hispanics have low fruit and vegetable [FV] intake. Limited access to affordable fresh produce, in part, contribute to low FV consumption. Intervention strategies e.g., Farmer Market and Farm to Work, were effective in improving FV accessibility and affordability; however, such approaches may not be practical for underprivileged Hispanics who lack transportation or employment. Church appears to be a promising alternative setting for translating Farm to Work to "Farm to Church". This pilot study explored the feasibility and acceptance of developing "Farm to Church" to deliver FV through the church that ultimately leads to increase FV intake among Hispanics.

This study conducted in-person interviews with a purposeful sample of 15 church leaders/lay leaders from eight predominantly Hispanic churches in San Antonio, Texas. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Inductive content analysis method was used to analyze data.

Leaders were concerned with low intake and limited access to FV in their community. They viewed the church as viable for FV distribution, and favored "Farm to Church" to promote FV consumption to congregation members and surrounding communities where food deserts may be an issue. Future FV programing could utilize churches to deliver baskets of fresh produce, along with recipes, on a bi-weekly basis at an affordable price to the low-income communities. Brief cooking demonstrations during FV delivery could help communities learn new ways of preparing unfamiliar FV. Developing "Farm to Church" appears to be feasible and acceptable to increase FV accessibility and affordability that ultimately leads to increase FV consumption among underprivileged Hispanics.


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Church, Faith-based, Food desert, Fruits and vegetables, Hispanic, Low income



Health and Kinesiology