Federal Nutrition Assistance at Farmers’ Markets: Evaluating Self-Efficacy and the Home Nutrition Environment
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SNAP and WIC help alleviate food insecurity among low-income families; however, some still struggle with fruit and vegetable accessibility. Farmers' markets present the opportunity to purchase fresher foods than other food retailers; therefore, we chose this environment to conduct our research. A survey of 70 WIC/SNAP shoppers at three D.C. metropolitan area farmers' markets assessed the correlation between parental self-efficacy and the home nutrition environment (composed of family health behavior, perceived barriers, and fruit and vegetable offerings in the home) and found a significant relationship. Interviews were used to evaluate market accessibility, SNAP/WIC benefit redemption, and the feasibility of accepting these benefits. Both market participants and coordinators mentioned the greater variety and superior quality of farmers' market produce but also suggested several improvements. Findings suggest that SNAP incentive programs may increase fruit and vegetable purchases. Programs targeting consumer self efficacy may also produce positive outcomes.