Farmers Market Incentive Provider Study
As early as 2005 in New York, to attract SNAP participants to their markets, organizations that operated several FMs launched conditional cash transfer programs or incentive programs. At their most basic level, SNAP-based incentive programs (SBIPs) at FMs provide SNAP participants with matching funds to purchase SNAP-eligible food items. SBIPs vary in the matching funds they provide; for example, some programs provide a dollar-to-dollar match while others may provide a dollar for every $5 spent at the market on a given market day. Markets that offer a dollar-to-dollar match typically set a limit for such a match (i.e., the match is provided up to $10 or $20 per day).
SBIPs attract SNAP recipients and farmers to the market, resulting in a favorable impact on increasing SNAP redemptions and overall FM sales. As documented in several evaluations,6, 7,8,9,10 however, little information is available on why organizations support SBIP, funding streams for incentives, implementation approaches, specific roles performed within and across collaborating organizations, perspectives regarding long-term goals for SBIP, and the data collection and evaluation systems in place to monitor the use and impact of incentives at various markets. To address these gaps in knowledge, the FNS Farmers Market Incentive Program Study (FMIPS) focused on:
1. Understanding the characteristics of organizations involved with SBIPs, their SBIP objectives, role in SBIP implementation, and involvement in SBIP monitoring and evaluations.
2. Exploring the relationships among SBIP organizations and between these organizations and FMs.
3. Examining and assessing SBIP organization self-evaluation data to measure the impacts of SBIPs on the individual FMs.