The Go!Healthy Eat Smart Food Box program aims to help people get fresh, high-quality and affordable produce.
The Go!Healthy Eat Smart Food Box program establishes local produce buying clubs, where pre-packed bags of regionally-grown, fresh produce are sold at wholesale cost weekly for thirteen weeks.
Participants pay one week in advance, with no further commitment, and can use SNAP benefits and farmers’ market incentive coupons (Health Bucks) to purchase the food box. The weekly produce (7-9) items are selected based on a healthy recipe, which our Eat Smart nutritionist demonstrates. The nutritionist also provides tastings, recipe cards, and healthy eating information.
The Food Box program was met with great enthusiasm at our three participating sites.
Over the season, we served 453 unique families and distributed 2,179 food boxes. The standard benchmark for success is 25 participants weekly per site. We exceeded this minimum target by more than 100% with an average of 50 participants per site every week.
By seasons end, we served an average of almost 70 participants per site, exceeding the minimum benchmark by almost 200%.
68% of our participants were repeat customers and survey results indicate the following:
Reasons provided for purchasing food boxes were:
- 90% reported the quality of the produce was high
- 84% reported the box was affordable
- 79% reported the site was conveniently located
As a result of participating in the food box:
- 90% said their family ate more fruits and vegetables
- 62% reported trying new fruits and vegetables
A participant reported: “getting a food box every week has inspired me to cook more and because of the food box I am provided with the tools necessary to do so.”
Type of Program
Policy, systems, and environmental change
Low-income families and community in Harlem and Staten Island
Number of Participants
453 families; 2,179 food boxes distributed
Years of Implementation
Seasonally, since 2016, every July-November
Weekly participant and purchasing data, pre-post survey
This post was submitted by Eat Smart New York and The Children’s Aid Society, agencies that implement SNAP-Ed. For more information, please contact Beth Bainbridge.