Making Markets More Accessible to Low-Income Communities

The Project for Public Spaces (PPS) has released the results of a new study aimed at understanding how to "get more healthy food into...communities through farmers markets."

Produced with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and in partnership with Columbia University, "Farmers Markets as a Strategy to Improve Access to Healthy Food for Low-Income Families and Communities" [PDF] examined eight markets across the United States that served low- to middle-income communities to understand "what market characteristics successfully attract low-income shoppers."

Two of the researchers' most critical findings were that price was not perceived to be a barrier to potential customers and that "[s]hoppers need better access to information about schedules and seasonal changes in order to become more regular market shoppers."

Recommendations for creating "more effective, engaging farmers markets" include:

  • Positioning markets in locations that give the appearance of one-stop shopping
  • Knowing your shopping demographic
  • Partnering with neighborhood organizations to facilitate outreach efforts 
  • Expanding marketing and outreach to local consumers to educate them about the location, time, and acceptance of SNAP and WIC benefits
Full Story: New Report on Farmers Markets & Low-Income Communities

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