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Partnering for Positive Health Outcomes in Shasta

The Issue

Recent studies indicate that obesity is a complex issue, with individual behavioral and environmental factors at its core. The problem can also be multigenerational, entrenched in family food choices passed from adult to child. Some experts believe that one of the most effective ways to address the obesity issue is through community-based nutrition education with "farm-to-fork" initiatives.

What Has ANR Done?

UC CalFresh encourages counties to link their school-based nutrition education with farmers' markets. This includes using the CalFresh EBT system (Electronic Benefit Transfer) to procure fresh fruits and vegetables at these markets, with the added benefit of supporting local producers. In Shasta County, the NFCS (UCCE's Nutrition, Family and Consumer Science Program) has partnered with the "Healthy Shasta" movement to promote healthy food choices and active living for residents. The NFCS helped create a 5-year plan for fruit and vegetable promotion with many local groups. Their workgroup created a pilot study, using the Healthy Shasta FARM (Fun at Redding Market) Club, to connect students to fresh local produce and promote its consumption. This pilot study worked with students at certain elementary schools, distributing FARM Club tokens to be used for purchasing produce at farmers' markets. All vendors selling produce at the market participated in the project.

The Payoff

Nutrition Education + Access to Healthy Foods = Healthy Shasta

The Healthy Shasta FARM Club booth was present at the local farmers’ market for 14 weeks. During this time:
•A total of 514 students enrolled in the FARM Club and increased their knowledge about local healthy food choices, the farmers' market, and the importance of consuming fruits and vegetables daily.
•A total of 3,561 free tokens were distributed to the students.
•A total of $7,122 in additional revenue was collected by local farmers due to the FARM Club.
•Of the participating students, 84% returned to the farmers' market to receive a free token.
A video was created to illustrate the students' intent to change behavior due to the intervention.

Clientele Testimonial

“...My son Tyler...is in the farmers’ market club and we really enjoyed it. It showed us a healthy place to shop and the environment was great to just walk through. Thank you for the free tokens. We purchased peaches, raspberries, and blackberries.” —Marci


Supporting Unit: Shasta County

Concepcion Mendoza, cmendoza@ucanr.edu, (530) 224-4900; Andra Nicoli, amnicoli@ucdavis.edu, (530) 754-9059