142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

SNAP Participants, Shopping at Farmers Markets, and the Role of Financial Incentives: Findings from Focus Groups with SNAP Participants

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 12:50 PM - 1:10 PM

Keith MacAllum, PhD , Health Studies Group, Westat, Rockville, MD
Cynthia Robins, PhD , Westat, Rockville, MD
Mustafa Karakus, PhD , Health Studies, WESTAT, Rockville, MD
Eric Sean Williams, Ph.D. , SNAP Research and Analysis Division, USDA, Food and Nutrition Service, Alexandria, VA
INTRODUCTION:  In seeking ways to alleviate food insecurity and increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants’ access for fresh fruits and vegetables, the United States Department of Agriculture is seeking to increase the use of farmers markets by program participants. As part of a larger study, we conducted focus groups with SNAP participants to investigate perceived benefits and barriers to shopping at farmers markets. 

APPROACH:  A total of eight English language and four Spanish language focus groups were conducted with 106 SNAP participants in Atlanta, San Diego, and San Francisco.  Participants varied by age, race, primary language, education, gender, and frequency of farmers market shopping. Standard qualitative analyses techniques were applied.

RESULTS:  The focus groups captured the subjective, first hand perspectives of SNAP participants.  Results concerning awareness, use, and experience with receipt of financial incentives to shop at farmers markets will be presented.  Factors that promote and inhibit shopping frequency and purchases at farmers markets will be discussed.  Findings include recommendations from SNAP recipients regarding how to increase the participants use of farmers markets.

DISCUSSION:  Understanding the subjective facilitators and barriers associated with shopping at farmers markets and the role of incentives will enable policymakers to develop initiatives aimed at encouraging SNAP participants to shop at farmers markets.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify the rationale for shopping at farmers markets and utilizing incentives; Compare subjective focus group findings to standardized survey results; and Identify recommendations for increased use of farmers markets, incentives, and healthy foods

Keyword(s): Policy/Policy Development, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal or co-principal of federally funded grants focusing on health especially food and nutrition programs and policy. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies for increasing the utilization of farmers markets among under-served populations with a focus on increasing consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. I have 20 years experience as a qualitative researcher, but very familiar with mixed methods and my projects typically example partnerships and collaborations.
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.