A SNAPshot of Successful Farmers Markets Across the United States

      Posted On: August 7, 2017

Take a tour of market successes! In recognition of National Farmers Market Week, the Farmers Market Coalition is excited to present a series of Farmers Market Success Stories featuring markets from across the country working to improve access to fresh, local products for low-income community members. Successful markets share tips and best practices for growing and maintaining thriving markets that build community, boost the local economy, and ensure access to all.

Click below for stories highlighting the importance of local partnerships and USDA programs like the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) program, and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition program to improving food access in Oklahoma, North Carolina and more!

Tacoma Farmers Market , WA

Tacoma is a city of 200,000 located about 30 miles south of Seattle. It’s the feisty and fiercely-proud blue-collar cousin to the better-known and more cosmopolitan Seattle. It’s a very economically diverse city and has programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI), Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) and Women, Infants and Children Farmers Market Nutrition Program (WIC FMNP) which play an essential role to market success. Formed in 1990 with a single location in downtown Tacoma, the Tacoma Farmers Market (TFM) now operates five markets per week. The flagship downtown location occupies an entire block that is transformed into a vibrant market each Thursday. This location features more than 80 vendors and provides an average of 4,000-5,000 shoppers per week access to fresh, locally-grown foods in addition to select food processors, artists, craftspeople, and hot food vendors… (Read More)

The Muskogee Farmers Market, OK

Located in the Southern region of Oklahoma’s Green Country, the City of Muskogee, with a population of less than 40,000, is a diverse and vibrant community that has served as a center of innovation throughout Oklahoma’s history. The community organized the Muskogee Farmers Market (MFM) in the public library parking lot in 1998. With the success of this market and the support of the City in 2007, the MFM found a new home under a custom-built pavilion in the heart of downtown. MFM is run by volunteers and all decisions go through the market’s association. MFM is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays with an average of 18 vendors selling only products they grew or produced. This includes a variety of produce, meats, cheese, plants, honey, baked goods, packaged foods, as well as fresh cut flowers, and hand-crafted items. All the products sold are grown or made in Oklahoma with a majority of the vendors living in the city or surrounding communities. When the market found out they could start accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) five years ago, they signed up without hesitation… (Read More)

Durham & South Durham Farmers Markets, NC

Two farmers’ markets – Durham Farmers’ Market and South Durham Farmers’ Market – collaborated to begin Double Bucks. This story features the larger and more established of the two markets, Durham Farmers’ Market. Before introducing Double Bucks, the markets didn’t accept SNAP. Once SNAP and the incentives were introduced, they had an immediate impact on SNAP cardholders. Through promotion by local media, word of mouth, and partner agencies, the markets experienced a significant increase in purchasing local food using SNAP and Double Bucks tokens…(Read More)

BisMarket Farmers Market, ND

In 2013, BisMarket was one of the first farmers markets in North Dakota to accept SNAP benefits. Since then, a SNAP incentive program was in the works, but sustainability and funding were barriers to adoption and implementation. In 2017, BisMarket applied for a grant from Basin Electric Cooperative via their Charitable Giving program, a grant program that BisMarket had applied for previously for other goals and objectives. Basin Electric Cooperative awarded the application to fund the incentives and promotion of the program. Incentive programs are difficult to implement and maintain, as funding sources don’t always allow for incentives…(Read More)