Could EBT Machines Increase Fruit and Vegetable Purchases at New York City Green Carts?

Andrew Breck, Kamila Kiszko, Olivia Martinez, Courtney Abrams, Brian Elbel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction Residents of some low-income neighborhoods have limited accessto fresh fruits and vegetables. In 2008, New York City issuednew mobile fruit and vegetable cart licenses for neighborhoodswith inadequate availability of fresh produce. Some of these cartswere equipped with electronic benefit transfer (EBT) machines, allowingthem to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(SNAP) benefits. This article examines the associationbetween type and quantities of fruits and vegetables purchasedfrom mobile fruit and vegetable vendors and consumer characteristics,including payment method.MethodsCustomers at 4 produce carts in the Bronx, New York, were surveyedduring 3 periods in 2013 and 2014. Survey data, includingpurchased fruit and vegetable quantities, were analyzed using multivariablenegative binomial regressions, with payment method(cash only vs EBT or EBT and cash) as the primary independentvariable. Covariates included availability of EBT, vendor, and customersociodemographic characteristics.ResultsA total of 779 adults participated in this study. Shoppers who usedSNAP benefits purchased an average of 5.4 more cup equivalentsof fruits and vegetables than did shoppers who paid with cash. Approximately 80% of this difference was due to higher quantities ofpurchased fruits.ConclusionExpanding access to EBT machines at mobile produce carts mayincrease purchases of fruits and vegetables from these vendors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE83
JournalPreventing Chronic Disease
Volume14
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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