Program Manager Experimental Station
Corey Chatman is a program manager at the Experimental Station a not-for-profit incubator of innovative cultural projects and small-scale enterprises located on the south side of Chicago. He began working there on healthy food access projects in the early part of 2010. One of his first projects involved the expansion of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) access at Farmers Markets in Illinois. To that end Corey began working with the Illinois Farmers Market Association to support markets in Illinois with education, resources, and best practices for programs like SNAP access.
Corey currently manages 3 programs at Experimental Station:
- City of Chicago’s Farmers Markets EBT program. Since 2010 Experimental Station has provided processing services for SNAP transactions at many of the city sponsored Farmers Markets.
- LINK Up Illinois Double Value Coupon Program, which provides grants for healthy food incentives on SNAP and WIC purchases at Illinois Farmers’ Markets.
- SNAP Support grants. Sponsored by the USDA, grants are awarded to qualifying Farmers Markets to cover expenses associated with operating a SNAP redemption system at Illinois Farmers Markets.
- These programs have directly impacted SNAP sales at Farmers Markets and Direct Marketing Farmers in Illinois. Resulting in a marked increase from $32k in 2010 to $453K in 2016.
Top 3 obstacles facing farmers markets: The decline in the number of farmers; The reduction in available funding for farmers markets; Lack of support for the profession of market management (training, professional development, retention, and inadequate pay).