Accessing Local Foods: Households Using SNAP Double Bucks and Financial Incentives at a Midwestern Farmers Market


  • James R. Farmer Indiana University
  • Angela Babb Indiana University
  • Sara Minard Indiana University
  • Marcia Veldman City of Bloomington



Farmers Markets, Local Food, SNAP, Double Market Bucks, Financial Incentives, Parks Department


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.

See the press release for this article. 


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Author Biographies

James R. Farmer, Indiana University

Associate Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Angela Babb, Indiana University

Research Associate, Department of Geography

Sara Minard, Indiana University

Visiting Lecturer, Department of Geography

Marcia Veldman, City of Bloomington

Coordinator, Bloomington Community Farmers Market, Bloomington Parks and Recreation



How to Cite

Farmer, J. R., Babb, A., Minard, S., & Veldman, M. (2019). Accessing Local Foods: Households Using SNAP Double Bucks and Financial Incentives at a Midwestern Farmers Market. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 8(4), 153–178.