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2015 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 third 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 2015. 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. Within our Congressional District, over half of households receiving SNAP benefits include children under the age of 181. Approximately 24% of Monroe county residents live in poverty, as compared to the national average of 15%.2 With such a high rate of individuals living with the reality of poverty, services to support this population are needed.

Marcia Veldman, Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market Coordinator

In 2015, there were approximately 60,000 fewer individuals in Indiana receiving SNAP benefits compared to 2014, and benefits issued in the state were $67 million less than in the previous year.3 However, 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 of interest: 1. Increased SNAP purchases 2. Increased SNAP customers. To highlight a few findings from our 2015 data, we found: • A total of $41,976 was spent through SNAP purchases during 2015. • Purchases at the Tuesday market increased to $4,629 in 2015, up 23% from the 2014 season. • More than 1,200 transactions were carried out by SNAP customers in the 2015 season. • 355 households participated in the Double Market Bucks program in 2015. 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

http://www.fns.usda.gov/sites/default/files/ops/Indiana_9.pdf http://www.census.gov/did/www/saipe/data/interactive/saipe.html?s_ appName%2Bsaide&map_yearSelector=2014&map_ geoSelector=aa_c&menu=grid_ proxy&s_state=18&s_county=18105#view=StateAndCounty 3 http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap 1 2

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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 41 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 2015 there were 831,470 residents (approximately 13% of the state’s population) enrolled in the SNAP program in Indiana. The Farmers’ Market, with the support of the Bloomington Parks Foundation, 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. We must note that the statistics included in this report are descriptive only. We are unable to make causal claims until a more rigorous evaluation takes place.

t be o n ld u o w uch m “I o get s o not t f e i l b t a rke a M .” e m h a t r at prog s i h mer t o t r s o f t Cu e k r -Ma

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Outcome 1: Increase purchases by SNAP customers.

Saturday Market During the 2015 Market season, we recorded both the frequency of SNAP customers and the amount that they purchased. In 2014, the second year of the doubling program, the total amount of SNAP purchase and Market Bucks matching reached $38,937 at Saturday Market, and customer purchased an average of $33 in Market Bucks per capita. In 2015, the amount of Market Bucks purchased reached $37,347, a decrease of 4%. Average purchases of Market Bucks per capita remained constant in 2015 at $33.

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

Tuesday Market During the 2014 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 $3,759. Customers purchased $34 worth of Market Bucks per capita on average in 2014. In 2015, the total amount of Market Bucks purchased at Tuesday Market was $4,629, an increase of 23% from the previous year. Customers purchased $36 (+6%) worth of Market Bucks per capita on average in 2015. Figure 2. Total SNAP purchases per month at the Tuesday Farmers’ Market


Outcome 2: Increase total number of SNAP customers.

Saturday Market In 2014, there were a total of 1,191 SNAP transactions at the Saturday Market over the course of the season, with an average of 34 SNAP customers per Market. In 2015, there were a total of 1,086 transactions, a decrease of 6% from 2014. There were an average of 30 SNAP customers (-11%) per Saturday Market in 2015. Figure 3. Total SNAP customers per month at the Saturday Farmers’ Market

Tuesday Market In 2014, there were a total of 113 SNAP transactions during the Tuesday Market season, with an average of 6 SNAP customers per Tuesday Market. In 2015, Market staff administered 102 (-6%) total SNAP transactions at Tuesday Market, with an average of 6 customers per Market. Figure 4. Total SNAP customers per month at the Tuesday Farmers’ Market

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Collaboration with the Indiana University School of Public Health In 2015 we worked 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 the lives of SNAP customers. This community-based research project was funded by the Community Health Engagement Program (CHEP). The survey of SNAP customers who shopped at the Farmers’ Market revealed the following information: • More than 60% of SNAP customers shopped at the Farmers’ Market either 2-3 times a month or every Saturday • More than 30% of SNAP users would not shop at the Farmers’ Market if the Market Bucks program did not accept SNAP benefits. • More than 40% of SNAP customers who shopped at the Farmers’ Market learned about the program because of a Market staff member or staff advertising. • Attending the Farmers’ Market increased the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed by SNAP customers more than non-SNAP customers The information from the community survey reveals the importance of the Market Bucks Program and helps Market staff identify ways to continue to grow the program.

“This progr am h been as a hug e benef me an it to d my famil It has y. m ade it possi ble fo r us t more o get fresh produ and s ce uppor t loca l farm ers.” -Mark et Cu stome r

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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 Bloomingfoods Market & Deli Bloomington Housing Authority 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 Monroe County United Ministries Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard Salvation Army of Bloomington South Central Community Action Program

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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 2015 Annual Report  

Report from the Bloomington Community Farmers' Market Double Market Bucks program. This program enables holders of Supplemental Nutrition As...

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