251343 Current approaches to data collection at farmers markets serving low-income populations

Monday, October 31, 2011: 2:50 PM

Sonia Ann Kim, PhD , Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Allison Karpyn, PhD , The Food Trust, Philadelphia, PA
The development of farmers markets is a strategy of public health agencies and communities for improving health, yet recent publications point to the limited research about the nutritional and health impacts of farmers markets.

To understand if farmers markets routinely collect information about their markets, how data are collected, and the nature of data collected, the Food Trust surveyed market managers in the summer of 2010. The sample included all farmers markets listed in USDA's National Farmers Market Directory that accept SNAP and WIC FMNP benefits. In total, 543 markets were contacted through outreach to 359 managers. Of these, 190 managers participated in a telephone survey; a subset supplied copies of 40 customer surveys and 82 farmer applications for analysis.

Almost all (93%) the farmers market managers conducted at least one type of data collection activity. The most common data collection tools were farmer applications and customer surveys, done by 96% and 64% of the sample, respectively. Questions related to diet or health were only found in 20% of consumer surveys. Customer surveys and farmer applications include questions that may be of interest to health departments, such as food assistance benefits use at farmers markets and product sales. Recommendations include broader adoption of diet-related questions into customer surveys, inclusion of such data in USDA's market manager survey, and increased collaboration among organizations currently evaluating health impacts of farmers markets.

Findings and views in this presentation are those solely of the authors and do not represent the official views of CDC.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Identify the most commonly used strategies for the evaluation of farmers markets nationally. Compare strategies with national goals for farmers markets and identify inconsistencies and opportunities for enhancement.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, Environmental Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Professional in the field with 10 years of experience, a PhD and employment at the CDC.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.