FRESH Street Project

Developing an area (street) based cash transfer scheme to promote healthy eating in areas of high deprivation (the FRESH Street Project)

This project addresses an issue of major strategic public health importance – how to create sustainable and healthy diets, eating behaviours and food systems in areas of high deprivation. Many communities in the UK are experiencing food poverty, i.e. “the inability to afford, or have access to, food to make up a healthy diet” (DH 2005), and consuming diets high in processed foods and low in fresh fruit and vegetables. People living on low incomes are more likely to have a consumption of sugar and saturated fatty acids, and lower intake of fruit and vegetables and dietary fibre than recommended (Food Standards Agency 2007).
The purpose of this early phase study is to develop and test the feasibility of an innovative public health intervention which aims to: (i) increase fresh fruit and vegetable consumption, (ii) encourage new purchasing, food preparation and eating patterns in the short term; and in the longer term, (iii) reduce food poverty and improve health outcomes. If successful, this intervention is likely to increase social cohesion and strengthen the resilience of local sustainable food systems and the food choice architecture.

This project is funded by the Medical Research Council in collaboration with Alexandra Rose Charity and Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council. The project is now concluding the field work phase in 4 streets in Barnsley. A total of 97 households have been offered weekly Rose Vouchers (total value £5) which can be exchanged for fresh fruit and veg at the one local fruit and veg shop and 6 fruit and veg stalls at Barnsley market.

o 9th February 2018 - Poster presentation on the FRESH Street Project at the Yorkshire and Humber Sector Led Improvement Conference
The project team are also working with Sheffield City Council to test the feasibility of this area based approach to creating sustainable healthy diets using financial incentives. FRESH Street vouchers (total value £5) are being offered to 56 households in one block of flats in the Gleadless Valley area of Sheffield for one year. These can be exchanged for fresh fruit and veg at Sheffield Market and/or a locally sourced/ grown fresh veg and fruit box from Regather.

o 29th January 2019 - Preliminary results on FRESH Street Sheffield were presented to Sheffield City Council Food and Obesity Board.

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