Do SNAP recipients shop at farmers’ markets? According to the first data released from the FreshLink study, more than two-thirds of SNAP recipients have shopped at a farmers’ market. This is just one of the findings the FreshLink data brief, Farmers’ Market Use among SNAP Recipients in Cleveland and East Cleveland. As the PRCHN’s core research, FreshLink is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to evaluate the reach, adoption, and impact of farmers’ markets among people receiving federal food assistance benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The data brief dispels some misconceptions regarding SNAP recipient use of farmers’ markets, with more than two-thirds of SNAP recipients reporting they had shopped at a farmers’ market at least once, and one in four current shoppers reporting they had visited a farmers’ market three or more times in the past year. While SNAP recipients are using farmers’ markets, FreshLink’s research shows there is a need for further outreach to increase awareness of farmers’ markets in neighborhoods and of the Double Value Produce Perks healthy food incentive program.
There are 17 farmers’ markets located in low-income neighborhoods in Cleveland and East Cleveland. Dr. Darcy Freedman, PRCHN Associate Director and Principal Investigator of the FreshLink study, noted, “This large network of farmers’ markets allows us to examine their impact as an alternative food access point for people living in food deserts.” The FreshLink data are some of the first data in the country to examine farmers’ market use among low-income populations with a farmers’ market located near their home. This research will provide guidance related to the achievement of national public health goals to reduce chronic disease trends by increasing affordable access to fruits and vegetables.