Because hunger remains an element of daily life for many Americans, we proposed that a school-based program to distribute gleaned vegetables and fruits, most of which were locally and seasonally grown, would reduce barriers for consuming vegetables and fruits among a low-income school community. In addition to recording the tonnage of food distributed in the project, we collected a series of 3 blood samples from children's parents (n = 17) to assess serum concentrations of vitamin C, folate, and lipid hydroperoxides. Data were analyzed by a Friedman 2-way ANOVA, followed by a post hoc Wilcoxon signed-ranks test. Through this project, we distributed 79,095 pounds of fresh vegetables and fruits. Serum vitamin C (P = 0.02) and serum folate (P = 0.001) increased significantly following program initiation, while serum lipid hydroperoxides dropped numerically (P = 0.07). This food distribution program succeeded in distributing almost 40 tons of produce, with evidence of improvement in parental nutritional status. Given these positive findings, the project is being further investigated as it continues in its second year.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Agronomy and Crop Science