Locarto: Promoting Mobile Vending of Fresh Produce through Location-Based Text Messaging (demo)



William Jordan* William Jordan*, Department of Family and Social Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, United States
Gillian Saunders, City University of New York, Herbert H. Lehman College, Bronx, United States
Renee Shanker, Department of Family and Social Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, United States
Peter De Vries, Street Vendor Project, Urban Justice Center, New York, United States
Sean Lucan, Department of Family and Social Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, United States


Track: Practice
Presentation Topic: Health disparities
Presentation Type: DEMO Interactive Session
Submission Type: Single Presentation

Building: LKSC Conference Center Stanford
Room: DEMO Interactive Session Upper Lobby
Date: 2011-09-18 12:23 PM – 12:38 PM
Last modified: 2011-08-15
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Abstract


Background
The NYC Green Cart program attempts to infuse low-income neighborhoods with jobs and fresh produce by offering permits for the mobile sale of fruits and vegetables. Because vendors can choose—and change—their vending locations, the Green Cart program poses problems for both program promotion and evaluation. Similar problems have been addressed in the developing world through short message service (sms) text messaging. Our objective is to promote Green Cart vendors and evaluate their geographic distribution and customer volume using text messaging technology.
Methods
An academic physician was partnered with a community-based organization to develop a web-based map (“Locarto”). Vendors can update and consumers and community organizations can determine Green Cart locations on the map via sms text messaging. Locarto outreach workers solicited vendor participation in 2010. Public promotion of the map is beginning in 2011.
Results
This demonstration will discuss the Green Cart program and how Locarto addresses unmet needs through novel use of text message-based mapping. The technology platform, development, and implementation challenges will be discussed. Conclusions
Locarto attempts to provide a web-based text message interface accessible to low-income and low-literacy communities in order to promote economic development and healthy food availability.

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