Farmers Markets Increase Access to Fresh, Nutritious Food

  • From 2011 to 2012, the number of farmers markets accepting SNAP benefits increased by nearly 32%.
  • The amount of SNAP benefits redeemed at farmers markets increased nearly 400% from 2009 ($4.2 million) to 2012 ($16.6 million).
  • In 2013, 22 farmers markets in Rhode Island accept EBT and credit/debit cards, up from 8 in 2008.
  • At farmers markets in low-income areas, 6 in 10 shoppers said that they could find better prices at the markets than at their grocery.
  • In 2012, over 3,200 farmers markets and direct marketing farmers accepted SNAP – a 400% increase compared to 2008.
  • Of 216 shoppers surveyed at the Janesville Wisconsin Farmers Market in 2012, 98% said that they would eat more fruits and vegetables as a result of their SNAP benefits and 30% said that they had not shopped at the market before SNAP benefits were accepted.
  • Compared to 2011, Michigan farmers markets experienced a 42% increase in the number of SNAP purchases in 2012.
  • From 2008-2013, Market Umbrella achieved a 501% increase in the number of vulnerable seniors visiting Crescent City Farmers Market.
  • In 2012, 51 Greenmarkets distributed $260,000 in Health Bucks, NYC’s SNAP incentive program.
  • Farmers redeemed more than $40 million in coupons for the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs in 2011, serving more than 1.9 million WIC participants and 863,097 low-income seniors.
  • In 2011, SNAP transactions at New York City Greenmarkets exceeded $638,000, representing a 63,000% increase from when the program began in 2005.
  • A 2011 study of markets in the southeast and Appalachia concluded that in 74% of communities, farmers market produce (conventional) was less expensive than supermarket produce, on average by 22%.
  • A 2013 Vermont Price Study found that of the items compared, all organic products except potatoes were cheaper at the farmers market.

“(Increasing SNAP purchases) is a win-win-win situation. It helps farmers by
increasing their sales, it helps the customer by gaining access to more fruits and vegetables and it helps the market itself grow its customer base.” Amanda Shreve, manager of programs and partnerships at the Michigan Farmers Market Association