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Keywords

Photovoice; community based participatory research; quality assessment; nutrition

Abstract

Access to healthy food is a critical factor impacting childhood obesity. Brighter Bites is a school-based program that addresses the issue of fresh food access among low-income families living in food deserts using a food co-op model. The aim of this study is to evaluate initial parent participant reactions to the ongoing Brighter Bites program using Photovoice. A predominately Hispanic, economically disadvantaged, urban school was chosen as the site for the Photovoice project. A total of seven Brighter Bites parent participants were enrolled and six completed the study. The participants developed research questions, took documentary photographs, completed a group analysis of the resulting photos, selected key images and created accompanying captions for a community event. During analysis of the photographs by the group, eight major themes emerged including: impact on the family food budget, produce quality, exposure to unknown fruits and vegetables, socializing with other parents, strategies to use/get children to eat produce, child curiosity of program, and children having fun helping with produce. These themes informed researchers of possible target areas for future program development and quality improvement. The positive nature of most photographs and comments suggests the program is being accepted in the community and impacting local families with regard to food access, food security and healthy eating behaviors.