Associations Between Farmers Market Managers' Motivations and Market-Level Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Electronic Benefit Transfer (SNAP/EBT) Availability and Business Vitality

Authors

  • Rachel Ward East Tennessee State University
  • Deborah Slawson East Tennessee State University
  • Qiang Wu East Carolina University
  • Stephanie Jilcott Pitts East Carolina University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2015.061.010

Keywords:

Electronic Benefit Transfer, Farmers Market, Farmers Market Managers, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP/EBT

Abstract

Farmers markets are promoted to improve access to healthy food for low-income consumers by providing affordable produce via Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Electronic Benefit Transfer (SNAP/EBT). Having SNAP/EBT at markets also expands revenue opportunities for participating farmers. Market managers play a key role in implementing SNAP/EBT and promoting business opportunities for farmers, yet they are not motivated equally by public health and business goals. There are few studies examining market managers' influence on food access for low-income households and business opportunities for farmers. We examined associations between managers' motivations and (1) food access for low-income households, measured by SNAP/EBT availability, and (2) business vitality, measured by vendor participation. A survey assessing manager motivation, SNAP/EBT availability, and vendor participation was sent to all market managers (N=271) in North Carolina. Seventy (26%) managers completed the survey. Multiple regression models were used to examine the association between managers' motivations to (1) improve access to healthful food and SNAP/EBT availability, and to (2) support business opportunities and total vendor count, weekly vendor count, and the number of vendors who sell only what they produce ("producer-only"). There was no significant association between food access motivation and SNAP/EBT availability, or business motivation and total and weekly vendor count. A high business motivation score was positively associated with having 13 more producer-only vendors at the market. Manager pay was positively correlated with vendor participation, including total vendor, weekly, and producer-only vendor counts. Our results suggest that public health interventions should emphasize the business opportunities offered by SNAP/EBT at farmers' markets, ultimately leveraging market managers' business goals to encourage SNAP/EBT implementation.

See the press release for this article. 

Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Rachel Ward, East Tennessee State University

Department of Community and Behavioral Health, East Tennessee State University College of Public Health; 104 Lamb Hall, Box 70623; Johnson City, Tennessee 37614 USA; +1-423-439-4592.

Deborah Slawson, East Tennessee State University

Associate Professor, Department of Community and Behavioral Health, East Tennessee State University College of Public Health; 104 Lamb Hall, Box 70623; Johnson City, Tennessee 37614 USA; +1-423-439-4592.

Qiang Wu, East Carolina University

Assistant Professor, Department of Biostatistics, East Carolina University College of Allied Health Sciences; 2435D Health Sciences Building; Greenville, North Carolina 27834 USA; +1-252-744-6047.

Stephanie Jilcott Pitts, East Carolina University

Associate Professor, Department of Public Health, East Carolina University; 600 Moye Boulevard, Lakeside Annex 7; Greenville, North Carolina 27834 USA; +1-252-744-5572.

Published

2015-12-08

How to Cite

Ward, R., Slawson, D., Wu, Q., & Pitts, S. J. (2015). Associations Between Farmers Market Managers’ Motivations and Market-Level Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Electronic Benefit Transfer (SNAP/EBT) Availability and Business Vitality. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 6(1), 121–130. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2015.061.010

Issue

Section

Open Call Papers