The Clinton, NJ fresh produce distribution program was an expansion of our Flemington, NJ weekly distribution site. This is something that had never been done before I Clinton. This location was chosen for several reasons but, ultimately hosting it in the borough of Clinton allowed our targeted population greater access (walkability).
The program to date has hosted 33 fresh produce days beginning in late January each Monday in Clinton with donated fruits and vegetables from Americas Grow A Row. AGAR who is a longtime partner for the YMCA and the community as a whole in Hunterdon County.
To date we are serving 25 families with over 70 people total in their combined households. Over 30% of individuals in the household are children. Average weekly attendance has been about 8 to 10 individuals.
In August we conducted a survey of the participants utilizing the fresh produce distribution program. We found that 70% of participants were not purchasing/ utilizing many fruits and vegetable is their diet because they considered them to expensive and 30% said they did not have regular access to fresh produce. 100% of participants surveyed reported that because of the fresh produce distribution program they have significantly increased their intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. 66% of people believe they have saved $40.00 weekly, 15% report a weekly saving of $50 and 11% report a savings of more than $60 per week.
By participating in the fresh produce program 88% of participants expressed that they have learned to cook healthier, 77% have found more time to exercise, and 88% practice healthier habits with their family.
Lastly and the most rewarding part of the program is that out of all the participants surveyed over 70% of them have expressed their desire to give back by either volunteering at Americas Grow a Row or within the YMCA to help other in their community.
Because this program is still new to Clinton, NJ we continue to look for ways to promote and market to the target population. Just as our Flemington site started off small and moved from various locations we anticipate the Clinton program evolving also.