Comparing farmers' market revenue trends before and after the implementation of a monetary incentive for recipients of food assistance

Darcy A. Freedman, Amy Mattison-Faye, Kassandra Alia, Aaron A. Guest, James R. Hébert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: We examined the influence of an intervention to increase fruit and vegetable purchases at farmers' markets for recipients of food assistance, Shop N Save (SNS), on revenue trends at a farmers' market located at a federally qualified health center (FQHC) in rural South Carolina. We compared revenue trends for 20 weeks before the intervention (2011) and 20 weeks after (2012). Methods: SNS provided one $5 monetary incentive per week to customers spending $5 or more in food assistance at the farmers' market. SNS was available to any farmers' market customer using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and/or Senior or WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers. Sales receipts were recorded for each transaction at the farmers' market to document payment type and the cost of the purchase. All SNS participants completed a one-time enrollment survey. Results: A total of 336 customers self-enrolled in SNS from June through October 2012. Most SNS participants were female, African American, and patients at the FQHC. In total, the use of all forms of food assistance (SNAP, WIC, and FMNP) at the farmers' market increased significantly after the intervention (from 10% before, to 25% after, Ρ = .003). Senior FMNP vouchers and SNAP usage increased the most. Conclusion: Interventions that provide incentives to recipients of food assistance programs at farmers' markets are a viable strategy for increasing food assistance usage and revenue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number130347
JournalPreventing Chronic Disease
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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