Date of Award
The opioid crisis has continued to escalate in Vermont, claiming more lives each year (“Drug Overdose Death Data,” 2017) and affecting the health and wellbeing of individuals and families alike (Gowdey, 2018). Struggles with addiction have been shown to have severe impacts on both individual (Nabipour et al., 2014) and childhood nutrition (Chilton et al., 2014) in particular. This assessment explored the need for mobile pantry program providing free fruit and vegetables to households impacted by opioid addiction in Chittenden County. Additionally, this research seeks to investigate gaps, successes, and barriers in current and proposed fruit and vegetable access programs in order to inform future research in mobile food pantries serving this population. While several programs and partnerships currently exist to help increase access to addiction treatment (Simpatico, 2015) and food (Vermont Foodbank, 2016) separately, there has been limited but successful (Sigmon, 2016) overlap between these efforts. Hunger and nutrition interventions designed to serve Vermont households impacted by opioid addiction specifically have the potential to bridge this gap and increase nutritious food access in this population. Mobile interventions in particular have the potential to reach otherwise underserved populations, and would fit in well with the Hub and Spoke addiction treatment model that exists to maximize the geographic reach of addiction services in the rural state of Vermont.
Barbour, Emily R., "Fruit and Vegetable Access in Mobile Food Pantries Serving Households Impacted by Opioid Addiction" (2019). Food Systems Master's Project Reports. 11.