Enhancing food security of low-income consumers: An investigation of financial incentives for use at farmers markets

Carolyn Dimitri, Lydia Oberholtzer, Michelle Zive, Cristina Sandolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Enhancing the diet quality of economically disadvantaged households in the United States has long been a policy goal. Recently, select local governments and nonprofit organizations have augmented federal policy by offering federal nutrition beneficiaries vouchers, for use at farmers markets, to match their expenditures at the market. Such incentive vouchers enhance purchasing power of low-income households. Because the incentives can be used only on fresh produce, diet quality has the potential to improve. A longitudinal pilot study examined the effectiveness of such incentives on the frequency of the vegetable consumption of 300 economically disadvantaged women in five farmers markets, in three cities, in the United States. Participants who visited food bank or pantries and those living in areas with limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables were most likely to drop out of the study. For those remaining in the study, those with low levels of education and low levels of fresh produce consumption were most likely to increase vegetable consumption.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalFood Policy
Volume52
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Farmers markets
  • Federal nutrition benefits
  • Food access
  • Food security
  • Incentive vouchers
  • Nutrition incentives

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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