Factors Influencing Local Food Procurement Among Women of Reproductive Age in Rural Eastern and Western North Carolina, USA

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Little is known about the barriers and facilitators to local food procurement among women of reproductive age (WRA). Therefore we conducted qualitative interviews with WRA in rural eastern and western NC (ENC and WNC) to learn of factors related to locally sourced food procurement. In-depth interviews were conducted among low-income White, Black, and Hispanic English-speaking WRA (N=62 (ENC: 37; WNC: 23) (18-44 years)). Independent coders used a consensus codebook to double-code all transcripts. Coders then came together to discuss and resolve coding discrepancies, and identified themes and salient quotes. Cross-cutting themes from both ENC and WNC participants included access to local food sources; acceptance of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program/Electronic Benefit Transfer (SNAP/EBT); freshness of produce; support for local agriculture; and the community aspect of local food sourcing. The in-depth understanding gained from this study could be used to guide tailored policy and intervention efforts aimed at promoting fruit and vegetable consumption among low-income WRA.