251346 Farmers Markets: Leveraging systems to build healthy sustainable communities

Monday, October 31, 2011: 3:30 PM

Joel Kimmons, PhD , Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Farmers markets have many different models but tend to be regular, recurring gatherings at a common facility or area where farmers and ranchers sell a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and other locally-grown farm products directly to consumers. The farmers market system interconnects many systems, catalyzing local community, citizen, and agricultural systems in a shared public space, generating social capital and thus the ability to address social problems. A cornerstone in building local and regional food systems, farmers markets provide an excellent entry point into farming for local, small-scale growers. The addition of market to a community may strengthen local economies, foster small business growth and benefit tourism. Direct farm to consumer and value-added product sales for small- to medium-size producers at farmers markets strengthen farm economic viability, in turn, preserving semi-urban and rural farmland and reducing the distance from farm to fork. For the consumer, farmers markets are a source for fresh, nutritious, and often sustainably produced food provided in an environment where cultural exchange and education is taking place. Also, by expanding the acceptance of SNAP/EBT and WIC vouchers, farmers markets can be made more accessible to underserved populations.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the cultural and community benefits of farmers markets. 2. Discuss the ways in which farmers markets can be sustained in low-income communities 3. Discuss methods for collecting quantitative data about farmers markets and their effects on nutritional outcomes.

Keywords: Food and Nutrition, System Involvement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: i am the lead author on the manuscript
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.