Implementation of a Farmers Market Incentive Program in Maryland

Perspectives from Vendors

  • Caitlin A. Misiaszek Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Amelie A. Hecht Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4942-5574
  • Gabby Headrick Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Shelley Brosius Maryland Farmers Market Association
  • Amy Crone Maryland Farmers Market Association
  • Pamela J. Surkan Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0334-5931
Keywords: Barrier, Facilitator, Farmers, Farmers Markets, Nutrition Incentive Program, SNAP, WIC

Abstract

A number of farmers markets have begun to offer matching incentive programs as a way to increase access to fresh foods for low-income families and increase sales among vendors. However, research evaluating the implementation of these programs is limited. This study employed a qualitative approach, interviewing vendors (n=19) selling at four farmers markets in Maryland to understand the barriers and facilitators to implementing the Maryland Market Money program. Overall, ven­dors reported positive attitudes toward the incen­tive program. Interviewed vendors identified key facilitators such as ease of implementation and positive social and economic impact of the pro­gram for participants and themselves. Vendors also discussed barriers, which included a lack of under­standing among customers about how the program operated, poor program promotion, and lack of educational materials. Some vendors described negative experiences with customers and expressed stigmatizing views toward customers. Given that vendors are key stakeholders in program imple­mentation, as incentive programs continue to expand, it is important to take into account their views and concerns to create successful programs.

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Author Biographies

Caitlin A. Misiaszek, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Center for a Livable Future

Amelie A. Hecht, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Center for a Livable Future, and Department of Health Policy and Management

Gabby Headrick, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Department of International Health

Pamela J. Surkan, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Department of International Health

Published
2020-02-28
How to Cite
Misiaszek, C., Hecht, A., Headrick, G., Brosius, S., Crone, A., & Surkan, P. (2020). Implementation of a Farmers Market Incentive Program in Maryland: Perspectives from Vendors. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 9(2), 255-266. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2020.092.004