Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Debbie Humphries


Objective: To investigate the impact of COVID-19 on the participants of a multi-city fruit and vegetable incentive program.Design: A six-month cohort study was conducted. Pre-program and post-program data were collected using an online survey platform. Setting: Eight cities across the United States. Participants: A total of 822 individuals were recruited through local site partners to participate in a fruit and vegetable incentive program (n=822; 79.4% women, 20.6% men; median age: 57 years old). Intervention: Participants received $50 monthly fruit and vegetable vouchers, a sneaker gift card or gift basket, and access to a weight loss app. Main Outcome Measures: The independent measures of interest were city-level COVID-19 severity (cases per 100,000 from March to July) and COVID-19 impact scale (summed responses of the impact of COVID-19 on various aspects of life). The dependent measures were motivation to participate in the program, program participation, food insecurity, incentive helpfulness, ability to make healthier food choices, voucher redemption, and time spent. Results: Participants living in cities with higher COVID-19 case rates or reporting higher COVID-19 impacts were more likely to report a decrease in motivation to participate, decrease in program participation, increase in food insecurity, and increase time spent budgeting for food. This study holds important implications for incentive programs, future pandemics, practice, and adds to the growing literature on the impact of COVID-19 on public health.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access

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