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2014 Annual Report Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department Prepared by Katie Lay Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs Service Corps Fellow


A Message from the Farmers’ Market Coordinator In our second full season of implementing the Double Market Bucks Program, we have continued to witness an increase in the success and scope of our doubling program. Thanks to a private donor’s generous contribution to the Bloomington Parks Foundation, we were able to offer Double Market Bucks at our Saturday and Tuesday Markets again in 2014. This program aims to develop the customer base for our farmers while incentivizing vulnerable families to use federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits to purchase healthful, local foods available at the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market. We are encouraged by the continued growth of the Market Bucks program, particularly in light of the reduction of SNAP benefits due to reduced federal spending. Although individuals received less nutrition assistance from the federal government, the number of individuals using SNAP benefits at the Farmers’ Market is higher than ever before. In this report, we describe trends for the following outcomes: 1. Increase SNAP purchases 2. Increase SNAP customers Marcia Veldman Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market Coordinator

To highlight a few findings from our 2013-14 data, we found: • An additional $6,500 was spent through SNAP purchases during 2014 in comparison to the 2013 Market season. • On average, a greater number of SNAP customers attended the Farmers’ Market during the 2014 season. • There were more than 200 additional SNAP transactions during the 2014 Market season compared to the 2013 season.

In 2015 we will work with the Indiana University School of Public Health on an in-depth survey of participants in the Double Market Bucks program to assess the impact it has had on their lives. In a time when federal support for nutrition assistance programs is volatile, we want to do everything we can here in our town to make our neighbors’ lives less chaotic and uncertain. None of this important work would be possible without our amazing community partners who helped us spread the word about the program. Best regards,

Marcia Veldman Farmers’ Market Coordinator

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The Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market and the Double Market Bucks Program

T

he Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market was founded in 1975 and has been growing ever since. For 40 years, the Farmers’ Market has enriched the lives of the community by providing a place for residents and visitors to come together in a festive atmosphere to buy local produce and other farm products directly from the growers. The Farmers’ Market’s mission aims to support small farmers and gardeners, securing a local food source. To further the mission and increase access to the Market for all residents regardless of income, the Farmers’ Market began accepting SNAP benefits in 2007 through the Market Bucks program. Participation in SNAP has been on the rise throughout Indiana as more and more Hoosier families rely on SNAP to feed themselves. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in December 2014 there were 892,699 residents (approximately 14% of the state’s population) enrolled in the SNAP program in Indiana. The Farmers’ Market in 2013 began an incentive program called Double Market Bucks to match SNAP purchases at Market. When SNAP customers purchase Market Bucks, they receive a matching dollar amount (up to $18 per visit) in additional Market Bucks to use at the Farmers’ Market. Market Bucks are paper vouchers that come in $3 increments and may be used like cash to purchase fresh, locally produced fruits, vegetables, breads, meats, eggs, and cheeses. SNAP customers purchase Market Bucks during Farmers’ Market hours by swiping their Hoosier Works debit card on the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) machine. Double Market Bucks has several goals: • Long-term goal 1: Reduce local food insecurity. • Long-term goal 2: Strengthen local food economy. • Long-term goal 3: Promote healthy lifestyles among SNAP customers. • Short-term goal 1: Increase access to nutritious foods available at Farmers’ Market. • Short-term goal 2: Increase direct marketing opportunities for Farmers’ Market vendors. We are primarily interested in evaluating the following outcomes, related to some, but not all, of the overall program goals: • Outcome 1: Increase purchases by SNAP customers. • Outcome 2: Increase total number of SNAP customers.

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Outcome 1: Increase purchases by SNAP customers.

Saturday Market During the 2014 Market season, we recorded both the frequency of SNAP customers and the amount that they purchased. In 2013, the first year of the doubling program, the total amount of SNAP purchase and Market Bucks matching reached $33,393 at Saturday Market. Customers purchased an average of $33 in Market Bucks per capita. In 2014, the amount of Market Bucks purchased reached $38,937, an increase of 17%. Average purchases of Market Bucks per capita remained constant in 2014 at $33.

Figure 1. Total SNAP purchases per month at the Saturday Farmers’ Market

Tuesday Market During the 2013 Tuesday Market season (held each Tuesday, June through September, from 4-7 p.m.), the total amount of SNAP purchases and Market Bucks matching was $2,528. Customers purchased $30 worth of MB per capita on average in 2013. In 2014, the total amount of Market Bucks purchased at Tuesday Market was $3,759, an increase of 49% from the previous year. Customers purchased $34 (+13%) worth of Market Bucks per capita on average in 2014. Figure 2. Total SNAP purchases per month at the Tuesday Farmers’ Market


Outcome 2: Increase total number of SNAP customers.

Saturday Market In 2013, there were a total of 987 transactions at the Saturday Market over the course of the season, with an average of 28 SNAP customers per Market. In 2014, there were a total of 1,191 transactions, an increase of 21% over 2013 figures. There were an average of 34 SNAP customers (+21%) per Saturday Market in 2014. Figure 3. Total SNAP customers per month at the Saturday Farmers’ Market

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Tuesday Market In 2013, there were a total of 85 SNAP transactions during the Tuesday Market season, with an average of 5 SNAP customer per Tuesday Market. In 2014, Market staff administered 113 (+33%) total SNAP transactions at Tuesday Market, with an average of 6 (+26%) customers per Market. Figure 4. Total SNAP customers per month at the Tuesday Farmers’ Market

Educational Opportunities To encourage first-time SNAP customers to feel more comfortable at Market, an educational video was created by Farmers’ Market staff. This video shows step-by-step how to redeem SNAP benefits for Market Bucks, and how doubling allows customers to purchase produce from a majority of the farm vendors. The video was viewed more than 420 times since it was published online in March 2014. All Market customers are encouraged to participate in events such as chef demonstrations to learn about new seasonal offerings and preparation methods. Although customers using SNAP benefits at Market are not observed during events, participation in this year’s tomato, apple, and soup tasting was higher than in the past.

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Looking Ahead We are pleased to announce the Bloomington Parks Foundation has received an additional $20,000 from a private foundation to continue offering the Double Market Bucks program in the 2015 season.

Contact Information Marcia Veldman Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market Coordinator City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department 812.349.3700 veldmanm@bloomington.in.gov Katie Lay Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs Service Corps Fellow Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department 812.349.3700 layk@bloomington.in.gov

Thanks to our community partners Bloomington Housing Authority Bloomingfoods Market & Deli Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington City of Bloomington Community and Family Resources Department Community Kitchen Habitat for Humanity Hoosier Hills Food Bank IU Health Bloomington

Monroe County CASA Monroe County Health Department Monroe County Community School Corporation Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard Monroe County United Ministries Salvation Army of Bloomington South Central Community Action Program United Way of Monroe County

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Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department bloomington.in.gov/farmersmarket

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Double Market Bucks Program of the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market 2014 Annual Report  

Report from the second year of the Double Market Bucks program. A grant from a private foundation allowed SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assis...

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