Making Markets More Accessible to Low-Income Communities
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