Equitable Access to Local Fresh Food: Making it a Reality
The Senior Incentive Program provided $15 in Market Produce Certificates for seniors participating in Senior Center, Housing Authority or at- the- market nutrition programing. Over $14,000 in certificates were redeemed, up from $8300 in 2016, for fresh market produce by the seniors.
A bigger DFMCC Veterans’ Program provided any veteran $15 in market produce certificates with $2525 redeemed by veterans through the season.
DFMCC increased fruit and vegetable purchasing power of the target population, by about $45,000, up about 40% from last year, which in turn provided equal direct vendor benefit. SNAP match reached $4,600. The total WIC FMNP match was about $14,000; Senior FMNP match was about $5,500.
Making It Work…
- The bilingual (Spanish and English) program manager critical to success and will continue. Multi-language volunteers provided vital support each week.
- Transportation is identified as a barrier to using the market so HARTransit provided 125 bus passes, making access to fresh food possible for many. Danbury Housing Authority provided bus service for their clients and the Danbury Senior Center provided bus service for their clients.
- Bi-monthly market food and nutrition sessions focused on market produce with $15 in market produce coupons provided as an incentive to purchase the produce.
- Acceptance of debit and credit cards improved sales for the vendors, keeping the market more vibrant.
- Vendors indicated the program “greatly increased” sales.