Evaluating the Implementation of a Farmers’ Market Targeting WIC FMNP Participants

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The present study planned and implemented a new farmers’ market (FM) at a WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) clinic in North Carolina, of which WIC FM Nutrition Program (FMNP) participants were the main priority population. The purpose of this FM was to provide convenience and improve access to locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables in the community and to increase the FMNP coupon redemption rate. The main objective of this study was to describe the overall process and key strategies involved in implementing a FM at a WIC clinic. A community-based participatory research design using different formative methods documented the process and key inputs in FM implementation. Local farmers, program administrators, and community advocates were involved in documenting the implementation process. Multiple formative methods included direct observation and semistructured interviews with staff and farmers (n = 13). A community partnership was key in implementing the FM. The market operated weekly over the course of 24 weeks, involved 12 WIC-approved farmers, and featured over 50 types of fresh fruits and vegetables. The FMNP coupon redemption rate at the county level increased from 51.3% to 62.9%. The results demonstrate that a FM can be successfully located near a WIC clinic with positive effects of increasing availability to fresh fruits and vegetables for a low-income population and revenue for local farmers.

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