A community-based participatory research approach to implementing a farmers' market targeting WIC farmers' market nutrition program participants

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kristin Lanae Ball (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Jigna Dharod

Abstract: The present study planned and implemented a new farmers' market, the Catawba County Public Health Farmers' Market (CCPH FM) at the local WIC office in Catawba County, North Carolina, of which Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) participants were the main target audience. The purpose of this farmers' market was to provide convenience and improve access to locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables (F & V) in the community and to increase the FMNP coupon redemption rate. The main objectives of this study were to describe the overall process and key strategies involved in implementing a farmers' market at a WIC office, to examine motivators and enablers for visiting farmers' market located at the WIC clinic, and to assess improvement in redemption rate of FMNP coupons among WIC participants by expanding farmers' market access. A community-based participatory research design using different formative methods documented the process and key inputs in farmers' market implementation. Local farmers, program administrators, and community advocates were involved in documenting the implementation process. Multiple measurement methods included direct observation and semi structured interviews with staff and farmers (n = 13). The primary outcome measure was FMNP coupon redemption rate. Rates from 2007-2013 were averaged and compared using a weighted ranking system (% redemption * % eligible individuals). Furthermore, a customer survey was developed and carried out in partnership with CCPH. Surveys (n = 415) were collected using a convenience sampling technique. Descriptive frequencies were conducted to describe the socio-demographic profile and to understand farmers' market purchasing behaviors among the study population. A community partnership among WIC, Eat Smart Move More, local farmers, UNCG, and CCPH was key in implementing the onsite farmers' market. The market occurred weekly for 24 weeks. A total of twelve WIC-approved farmers sold at the market and offered a variety of local produce. The 2013 redemption rate increased from 51.3% to 62.9%. Overall, the primary enablers and motivators identified among visitors to the farmers' market included variety of the fresh F & V, quality of fresh F & V, and the ability to purchase food grown locally. WIC FMNP participants were further motivated by low prices and the ability to easily spend FMNP coupons. This study highlights the importance of leveraging resources at the community level to address barriers to FMNP redemption. Locating farmers' markets at WIC clinics, in particular, can reduce barriers for FMNP participants and increase redemption.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2014
CBPR, Farmers' market, Food access, Process evaluation, Redemption rate, WIC
Farmers' markets $z North Carolina $z Catawba County
Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (U.S.)

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