Employer-Based Community Supported Agriculture Program and Health Behaviors


This study investigates the relationship between participating in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program administered through an employer and participants’ health behaviors. CSA programs work like a subscription for fruits and vegetables where participants pay up front for a weekly delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables from a local farm for the duration of the growing season. A typical full-share CSA program consists of about 20-25 deliveries of vegetables and fruits in the growing season.

For the past two years, VUMC has partnered with local, sustainable farms to provide VUMC employees with memberships to area CSA programs at a discounted cost through a program called Growing Good Health. All VUMC employees receive a 15% discount while VUMC employees earning less than $30,000 annually receive a fully subsidized CSA share. Through administering 3 surveys, this study seeks to understand how participating in a CSA affects health behaviors. Surveys are sent to Growing Good Health participants prior to their first delivery of vegetables, after their last delivery, and three months after their last delivery. These surveys ask participants to report on questions about health and lifestyle behaviors such as how often they eat at home, portions of fruit and vegetable consumption, and if they have seen changes in their health.