Nutrition Assistance Report Part II

More quotes and odds and ends from the Nutrition Assistance Project Report. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, Office of Research and Analysis, Nutrition Assistance in Farmers Markets: Understanding Current Operations by Sujata Dixit-Joshi et al. April 2013.

I hope this is helpful to those readers that don’t have the time to read 799 pages!
Here is a link to my original post about this report

Stated purpose of project:
“To seek innovative ways to increase SNAP participants access to farmers markets (fms) and direct marketing farmers (dmf)”

Questions being asked in this project:
1. What are the characteristics of fms and dmfs and do they vary by SNAP authorization status?
2. What procedures are being used to add SNAP programs at fms and dmfs?
3. What is the nature of incentive programs?
4. What organizations serve fms and dmfs?

Three studies to be done in next few years:
FM Operations (was completed 2013)
FM Client Survey
Orgs administering SNAP at FMs Survey

Details from FM Ops study:

2 phases of Operations study:
1. Nine markets were interviewed in depth, selected by FNS based on regions and demographic of poverty level in area.

2. 1682 farmers markets and 570 direct marketing farmers were surveyed between January and May 2012, Organized in 4 study strata:
Stratum 1: Snap authorized FMs and DMFs with redemptions from July 1, 2010- August 31, 2011
Stratum 2: SNAP authorized FMs and DMFs with no redemptions from July 1, 2010-August 31, 2011
Stratum 3: SNAP authorized FMs with redemptions from July 1, 2007- August 31, 2010 but none since in 2011. (FNS did not track DMFs separately before 2010.)
Stratum 4: Never SNAP authorized

3.9 Farmers Markets Operating Budget

“In CY 2011, farmers markets relied on multiple funding sources for their operating budget. A vast majority of the markets depended on vendor fees: only 10 percent of the markets did not collect any vendor fees. Sponsorship from business organizations (28.7%), fundraising events (24.7%), and government organizations were also important sources of funding for the markets’ operating budgets. About 10 percent of the markets received funding from State government.

About 76 percent of the farmers markets charged the vendors a flat fee. Among the farmers markets that charged vendors a flat fee, almost one-half implemented a flat fee per season while about
 40 percent implemented a flat fee per market day. Fewer than 10 percent of the markets assessed vendor fees as a percentage of sales, and less than 2 percent charged vendors based on the size of their rental space.”

5.3.1 Type and Characteristics of Outlet Where Direct Marketing Farmers Reported the Most SNAP Sales
“In CY 2011, a majority of the direct marketing farmers selected farmers markets as the outlet where they had the most SNAP sales.
… data suggest that direct marketing farmers who had prior certification may discontinue SNAP participation because they sell at outlets where they can use the market’s authorization to redeem SNAP. A sizeable majority of the direct marketing farmers in all three strata used their own authorization to redeem SNAP benefits at the outlet (Table 5-12).
In all three strata, receiving retail value of products was cited by 54 percent of the respondents in strata 2 and 44 percent of respondents in Stratum 1 (as reason for using the direct marketing outlets). About one-third of the direct marketing farmers in Strata 1 and 2 indicated that convenience was the most important driver for selling products at the outlet. A few reasons included location of the market (proximity to the farm, busy area, etc.); high volume of customers, particularly SNAP, WICFMNP and SFMNP customers; role in starting or operating the market, and to serve the local community.”


Details of benefit programs at market (fms) and with direct marketing farmers (dmfs):

In 2009, 18% of the markets had access to card processing; by 2011, it was 35% (Briggs et al)
In 2011, 71.8 billion was redeemed in SNAP benefits and 11.7 million at farmers markets which is .016%

Markets with no incentive program had an average of $867 per season in SNAP sales and those with incentives averaged $2587 per season (p38)

(Expect more to come on this blog from this report….)