Research conducted by HFNE students in partnership with FNP has provided new opportunities to promote SNAP at farmers markets.

Exploring community and local food systems by means of photo elicitation. Misyak, S., Ledlie Johnson, M., McFerren, M., Hosig, K., Niewolny, K., Serrano, E. (2014). eXtension Community of Practice on Community, Local & Regional Food Systems.

  • Photo elicitation is a novel method for identifying barriers for accessing farmers markets for SNAP recipients. The results of this project led to the development of a farmers market orientation lesson for use in FNP programs to help introduce SNAP recipients to shopping at a farmers market.

Perceptions of SNAP-Ed Program Assistants about Farmers Markets
Family Nutrition Program assistants' perception of farmers markets, alternative agricultural practices and diet quality. Misyak, S., Ledlie, M., McFerren, M., Serrano, E. (2014). Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

  • Program Assistants are a key resource in tailoring FNP programs to the needs of clients. The barriers and benefits of shopping at farmers markets were collected from Program Assistants and helped guide the development of a farmers market orientation lesson to help introduce SNAP recipients to shopping at a farmers market.

Low-income mothers’ perception of barriers to using farmers markets to access local foods. Misyak, S., Ledlie Johnson, M., McFerren, M., Niewolny, K., Hosig, K., Serrano, E. (2014). In C.I.P. Thomas (Ed.), Voices of hunger: Food insecurity in the United States (pp. 51-62).

  • Using input of SNAP-eligible mothers on the barriers to shopping at farmers markets using SNAP/EBT, strategies for making farmers markets more welcome to SNAP shoppers were identified. Sharing these ways to address barriers of potential customers with farmers markets helps SNAP/EBT programs at the markets more effective and culturally appropriate for this audience.

    By researching the barriers and benefits of using SNAP at farmers markets from a variety of viewpoints, FNP has been able to create a successful program that both promotes SNAP recipents to visit farmers markets while also working with markets to make the environment more welcoming to those shoppers. The following video shows a successful partnership in the Roanoke valley that was influenced by the results of these research projects.