Accessing Local Foods: Households Using SNAP Double Bucks and Financial Incentives at a Midwestern Farmers Market
Farmers markets have flourished in recent decades as alternative distribution outlets for small-scale, organic producers. However, one persistent challenge for farmers markets is attracting a diverse range of patrons across the wide socio-economic spectrum. This issue is even more critical when focused on individuals with a limited budget for food expenditures. Thus, we surveyed SNAP and non-SNAP users who attend a Midwestern farmers market in order to investigate motivations for attendance, local food values, and the role that financial incentives play in affecting attendance. Additionally, we compared our findings with our previous research on households who receive SNAP and do not attend the farmers market. Our results underscore that the SNAP users at the market have much in common with their non-SNAP market-going counterparts. There are also several critical differences between market-going SNAP users and the non-going SNAP users. In conclusion, while our results show financial incentives work to reduce the reproduction of economic privilege at the farmers market, additional initiatives are required to address other food access barriers and to promote food justice in this important and expanding space.
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