Sustainable CAPE Addresses Food Insecurity With Farmers Markets

By Allie Vrtachnik | allie@farmersmarketcoalition.org

photo credit: Sustainable CAPE

Sustainable CAPE Farmers’ Market Coalition is making Massachussetts’ local foods a feasible option by assisting farmers markets with the implementation or continuation of nutrition incentive programs.

The coalition was created to address the area’s local food access deficit. According to County Health Rankings, Cape Cod’s Barnstable County ranks #1 in having limited access to healthy food, with 9% of the population being low-income, more than double Massachusetts’ average. Market nutrition incentives can help swallow these statistics. “Free Fruits and Veg” Programs can double to $20 of market tokens, providing significant aid to SNAP, WIC, or Senior Discount customers.

The coalition is a valuable market resource that has no membership fee, and is open to Cape Cod farmers markets interested in offering nutrition incentives. Sustainable Cape’s Founder Director, Francie Randolph points out, “Cape Cod is a geographically isolated peninsula and as such, is a perfect incubator for ideas and implementing education while promoting the farmers’ market as a hub for community projects.”

Market coalition members benefit from best practices, expert advice, and program literature the coalition provides. Markets with doubled nutrition incentive programs can take advantage of the promotional perks the coalition offers, such as coordinated outreach and marketing to increase public awareness via print materials and social media.

Sustainable CAPE is at the helm of Cape’s local food advocacy. With programs like CAPE Farmers’ Market Coalition, the organization is able to meld more citizens into market customers, augment vendor profits, and make market synonymous with community and health.

Learn more about the non-profit and their work on the CAPE.