i-Three Issue Corps 2016 – Garden2Go

David Campbell

State Food Systems Coordinator

University of Florida, UF/IFAS Extension, Family Nutrition Program

What is the change you are designing to achieve?

In Florida, almost 1 of every 5 residents qualifies for food assistance and these limited resource residents have historically been the most difficult to reach.  This project builds upon my current programming to enhance nutrition education and promote food access for these limited resource residents.  Communication using non-traditional methods (including text messaging) shows great promise to effectively maintain communication and provide on-demand education and support to this vulnerable population.  By providing a combination of in person training, at home gardening, and continued communication we hope to educate and empower our most vulnerable populations so they can make healthy food choices.

How will you measure that change?

Behavior change, knowledge change, feedback and photos will be measured by sending and receiving text messages via google voice.

What is the innovative component or strategy you will implement as a result of the design-a-thon?

92% of US adults use cell phones and government supported cell phones offer free text messaging. We will communicate with our target population via text messages and will provide on demand support by sending bulk messages combined with individual text responses.

How did the design-a-thon help you?

The keynote speakers were excellent and sparked new thoughts and ideas. Meeting others working in food systems was great to bounce ideas around and share best practices.

Summary:

The Garden2Go (G2G) project includes nutrition education paired with take-home and easy-to-use grow boxes for home vegetable and herb production and consumption. Limited resource (SNAP eligible) Florida residents are provided in-person nutrition education and follow up SMS (text) messages to provide on demand gardening and nutrition education. The G2G project is currently in the second growing season and the G2G implementation team is creating a template for replication around the state and beyond.

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