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Implementing a Healthy Food Distribution Program: A Supply Chain Strategy to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Access in Underserved Areas
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  • Pubmed ID:
    29806583
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC5985911
  • Description:
    Increasing access to fresh produce in small retail venues could improve the diet of people in underserved communities. However, small retailers face barriers to stocking fresh produce. In 2014, an innovative distribution program, Community Markets Purchasing Real and Affordable Foods (COMPRA), was launched in Los Angeles with the aim of making it more convenient and profitable for small retailers to stock fresh produce. Our case study describes the key processes and lessons learned in the first 2 years of implementing COMPRA. Considerable investments in staff capacity and infrastructure were needed to launch COMPRA. Early successes included significant week-to-week increases in the volume of produce distributed. Leveraging partnerships, maintaining a flexible operational and funding structure, and broadly addressing store owners' needs contributed to initial gains. We describe key challenges and next steps to scaling the program. Lessons learned from implementing COMPRA could inform other jurisdictions considering supply-side approaches to increase access to healthy food.

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