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Grantee Profile | Food on the Move

AARP Foundation, through its Evidence Based Solutions grant competition, has funded the Rhode Island Public Health Institute to increase their level of evidence and simultaneously work to refine their program model for future scalability.

AARP Foundation Food on the Move Grantee Profile

Food on the Move



“The funding is allowing us to do a really good evaluation with multiple rounds of information gathering. We think what works in libraries, schools, and family sites might not work for seniors. One site has people running groceries up to seniors’ apartments, and we’ve never thought about the small changes like that before this. This project will help us to perfect the model.”

—Eliza Lawson, Food Access Coordinator at RIPHI

Project Description

Food on the Move’s project will expand their reach and analyze their program model to determine the best way to replicate the mobile market model nationwide. To accomplish this goal, the Rhode Island Public Health Institute will:

  • Expand Food on the Move’s reach by starting new markets and increasing the frequency of existing markets
  • Evaluate Food on the Move’s impact on food security among low income adults and quantify downstream healthcare cost savings
  • Replicate their model in a cohort of mobile markets nationwide and support success by providing technical and data analysis support
AARP Foundation Grant Program

AARP Foundation

Project Highlights

Locally Driven: One of the factors of success of the Food on the Move model is a result of a focus on targeting markets to the communities they serve. This adaptation can be seen through adapted produce offerings, multiple languages spoken by staff, and printed materials and outreach strategies.

Health Equity Zones: Food on the Move holds many of their markets in communities that are disproportionately impacted by poor health outcomes. By serving the Health Equity Zones of Bristol, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Providence, and Woonsocket, Food on the Move aims to change the food environment and positively impact health outcomes in the long term.  

AARP Foundation Grant Program

AARP Foundation

Evidence Base

Independent Evaluation: Food on the Move is informed by over a decade of research, including two randomized control trials (RCTs) funded by the National Institutes of Health. After the RCTs, the program became a social enterprise that expanded to 20 locations across Rhode Island.

USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant: Food on the Move was awarded a USDA FINI program grant in 2014 to offer financial incentives for participants who use SNAP benefits to purchase produce at the mobile markets. A FINI grant extension is allowing Food on the Move to test a different financial incentive model to help inform future SNAP fruit and vegetable incentive programming.   


AARP Foundation Grant Program

Food on the Move

“I enjoy the market. I’m glad [Food on the Move] comes and most of the people here are too…what you spend you get back in a giftcard, so it’s really half price.”

—Food On The Move Participant

Grantee Profiles

We collaborate with grantee and partner organizations to identify evidence-based interventions that make transformational impact possible and address our strategic objectives.