Farmers' market voucher programs in the United States and Canada : benefits and opportunities
September 25, 2015
Farmers' Market Nutrition Programs (FMNPs) in the United States and Canada are designed to provide nutrition assistance and nutrition education to low-income families, while supporting and promoting domestic agriculture. This paper examined the current scientific literature on the benefits of the programs to coupon recipients and farmers, as well as the influence of education interventions on nutrition knowledge. Coupon recipients were found to increase their fruit and vegetable consumption through the use of the programs, as well as their nutrition knowledge, and farmers were found to increase their income. FMNPs were determined to be effective at achieving their goals and worthy of continued funding. Suggestions are included to improve coupon redemption rates to maximize the benefits of the programs to all participants, and system infrastructure is suggested for Canadian markets to facilitate the reception of provincial funding, in order to create program growth to benefit more individuals, families, and farmers.
- Farmers’ Market Voucher Programs in the United States and Canada: Benefits and Opportunities
- 6 Ways to Improve Redemption Rates of Farmers’ Market Voucers
Author: Kristin Kinnard began her studies in Agricultural Science at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. She continued her studies at Cal Poly State University through a study abroad program and soon after graduating relocated to Hawaii for a job in the biotech industry. Kristin continued her education at Colorado State University with a Master's in Agriculture, focusing on Extension Education. Kristin’s graduate research paper focused on Farmers' Market Nutrition Programs (FMNPs) and questioned if: 1) vouchers improve fruit and vegetable intake for participants, 2) farmers benefit from the program, 3) providing nutritional education with vouchers improves nutrition knowledge, and 4) opportunities exist for such programs in Canada. The data concluded "yes" for all four questions! However, Kristin identified redemption rates as an area with room for growth, and attended the NFMNPA's annual conference in 2015 to present several strategies for improving redemption rates across the nation.