Reflecting on a successful Fresh Connect pilot program

Local Matters Veggie Van Shop
In 2023, we launched a pilot program with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and About Fresh to address food insecurity in Linden.

The Fresh Connect program provided families in Linden neighborhoods with $150 per month on a digital card to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables at food retailers, including the Veggie Van, for up to six months.

In total, we enrolled 50 families in the pilot with participants spending over $30,000 at local grocers over the duration of the program.

At Local Matters, we believe food access and food education are critically connected. Each participant received detailed recipe cards for nutritious meals like veggie stir fry throughout their enrollment. We also hosted grocery store tours to teach participants how to shop on a budget and how to shop for fresh fruits and veggies.

Our post-program survey included some inspiring feedback from participants:
“We eat less greasy food and more Vegetables and fruit.”
“My A1C went down, I lost weight, my daughter did too.’’
“We eat a ton of salads and fresh veggies and fruit…making us feel better, eating a lot healthier.”

As the program comes to a close, we’re assessing findings from the pilot, and we’re eager to inform future food access efforts with these findings in mind.
Local Matters’ mission is to create healthier communities through its food access, education, and advocacy efforts. But we need your support to continue this critical work.
A one-time or monthly donation to Local Matters will fuel our equity-focused work in the years to come. Click the button below to learn more.
With gratitude,
The team at Local Matters
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