Tradition of Healthy Food Access in Low-income Neighborhoods: Price and Variety of Curbside Produce Vending Compared to Conventional Retailers

  • Catherine Brinkley University of Pennsylvania
  • Benjamin Chrisinger University of Pennsylvania
  • Amy Hillier University of Pennsylvania
Keywords: Food Access, Health Disparities, Mobile Vendors, Produce, Spatial Intervention

Abstract

This paper describes the longstanding, naturally emergent model of curbside vending of whole fruit and vegetable produce across several low-income, low-health Philadelphia neighborhoods. We conducted open-ended interviews with managers of 11 curbside produce vendors and compared prices and varieties of fruits and vegetables with the 11 closest conventional outlets. We find that produce trucks offer significantly lower prices on common fruit and vegetable items and they carry a variety of items comparable to that carried by limited-assortment grocery stores. We conclude with recommendations regarding zoning, licensing, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) authorization that could stabilize and expand this model of healthy food access.

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Author Biographies

Catherine Brinkley, University of Pennsylvania

School of Design, Department of City and Regional Planning; School of Veterinary Medicine; 102 Meyerson Hall, University of Pennsylvania; 210 South 34th Street; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104; +1-267-252-2165.

Benjamin Chrisinger, University of Pennsylvania
School of Design, Department of City and Regional Planning.
Amy Hillier, University of Pennsylvania
School of Design, Department of City and Regional Planning; School of Social Policy and Practice.
Published
2013-12-24
How to Cite
Brinkley, C., Chrisinger, B., & Hillier, A. (2013). Tradition of Healthy Food Access in Low-income Neighborhoods: Price and Variety of Curbside Produce Vending Compared to Conventional Retailers. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 4(1), 155–169. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2013.041.011