Pregnancy is a particularly important time period in which to address food insecurity because adequate nutrition is critical to positive birth outcomes and healthy fetal development. A strong literature now supports the efficacy of reducing economic barriers to fruit and vegetable purchases in food insecure households in order to support healthier dietary intake. The next logical step is to rigorously evaluate interventions designed to reduce food insecurity and support healthy dietary intake among at-risk pregnant women.
EatSF has partnered with the San Francisco Department of Public Health to enroll at-risk, predominantly Latina and African-American pregnant women into the fruit and vegetable voucher program. Since February 2017, EatSF has enrolled over 600 low-income pregnant women through the network of WIC clinics across San Francisco. Women enrolled in the program receive $40 each month in vouchers redeemable for fruits and vegetables. Leveraging this existing partnership, EatSF is excited to announce additional funding through the California Preterm Birth Initiative (PTBi-CA) to rigorously evaluate the outcomes of the program. This additional funding is allowing EatSF to determine the extent to which $10 in weekly vouchers redeemable for fruits and vegetables improves intake of fruits and vegetables, reduces food insecurity, and lowers pre-term birth rates among low-income, pregnant mothers in San Francisco.