Fast Food Cart pushes fresh produce as healthy snacks

By Leslie King | Emory Report | March 11, 2013

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The Faculty Staff Assistance Program is piloting a "Fast Food Cart" Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in March, "making fresh and affordable fruits and vegetables available just steps from your work area." Photo courtesy of FSAP.

Get fresh fruit and vegetables fast at various campus locations this month.

The Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) is piloting a "Fast Food Cart" Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays in March from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., "making fresh and affordable fruits and vegetables available just steps from your work area."

Find out where the cart will be throughout the month by checking the FSAP Facebook page or website. Cash is the only form of payment accepted.

Dawn McMillian, FSAP wellness specialist, came up with the idea through her one-on-one nutrition counseling and feedback from workshop attendees, where she observed that many Emory employees were consuming less than the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables.

"Convenience and access have often been cited as a reason why individuals don’t consume more fruits and vegetables," she says. "That knowledge, combined with the fact that the majority of 'snack foods' available close to employee workspaces are not fresh and do not provide the health benefits that fruits and vegetables do, made me want to promote access to healthy snacks while encouraging the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables by Emory employees."  

At least two and a half cups of vegetables and fruits per day are associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, according to "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services.  

FSAP is piloting the service during National Nutrition Month and will evaluate how much the cart is used at the end of testing period.   

"We want to make sure that there is a demand for this type of service before we attempt to offer it for an extended period of time," McMillian says.  "Ideally, we would love to offer it three or four months of the year when the weather starts to turn warmer."   

FSAP also offers free nutrition coaching sessions for Emory employees.