Are Farmers Markets a SNAP?

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Presentation on Iowa EBT Wireless Project given during the 13th Annual Community Food Security Conference held in Des Moines, Iowa during October of 2009.

Presenters include: Andy Fisher, Jan Walters, Stacy Miller

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Are Farmers Markets a SNAP?

  1. 1. Are Farmers Markets a SNAP?<br />1<br />
  2. 2. Background for Iowa EBT Wireless Project: <br />Began June 2005 with 10 farmers and 2 markets<br />DHS worked with IDALS to recruit farmers to participate<br />DHS acquires wireless POS devices and assigned to FNS certified farmers<br />Most Iowa markets managers are farmers who are there to sell their products<br />Farmers can use POS anywhere, anytime – 24/7<br />Farmers are able to accept any EBT card, as well as commercial debit/credit cards<br />Former Iowa DHS Director, Kevin Concannon, now USDA Undersecretary Concannon.<br />2<br />
  3. 3. EBT Wireless Project 2009:<br />Funding for 167 farmers<br />160 farmers participated<br />The farmers sell at 118 markets across Iowa; as well as roadside stands & on-the-farm sales<br />Recruitment much easier. Most farmers contact us about participating<br />DHS presence at annual Iowa Farm Bureau Conference & Iowa Fruit & Vegetable Growers Conference<br />3<br />
  4. 4. Financial History<br /><ul><li> Historically, October is the highest month for all sales
  5. 5. Historically, August is the highest month for EBT sales
  6. 6. Year to date sales are 24% higher than 2008
  7. 7. YTD EBT sales are 55% higher than 2008
  8. 8. As of Sept. 09, there were 145,887 SNAP households in Iowa </li></ul>4<br />
  9. 9. 5<br />
  10. 10. 6<br />
  11. 11. Good News! EBT sales and transaction are increasing at a greater rate than in previous years. <br />June 09 EBT sales were 65% higher than June 08<br />July 09 EBT sales were 59% higher than July 08 <br />Des Moines Downtown Market<br />Cedar Rapids Downtown Market<br />7<br />
  12. 12. Direct Outreach To SNAP Recipients<br /> Annual brochure mailed or made available to all households<br />DHS website listing location/dates/time of markets where they can use EBT card<br /> State advertising (radio, newspapers, local shoppers, etc) <br /> Special shopping bags <br /> Market/farmer advertising<br /> Posters for DHS offices<br />8<br />
  13. 13. Outreach Via Farmers:<br />Provide signs to farmers to show that they can accept EBT<br /> Have direct contact with farmers<br /> Inform farmers how they are helping low-income families by becoming a FNS retailer<br /> Require farmers to view training video<br /> Identify the farmers who will be ‘cheerleaders’ for EBT<br /> Send monthly newsletters to farmers <br /> Provide color books to farmers<br />EBT aprons<br />9<br />
  14. 14. Outreach by Markets<br />Markets are creative. Get involvement from local businesses & city government/non-profits <br />Publicize events using local media<br /> Davenport Freight House Market events:<br />Easter Bonnet Parade<br />Classes for canning/freezing (free jars/supplies for EBT families)<br />Offer free tote bags <br />Children events<br />10<br />
  15. 15. Find out what SNAP families think about shopping at farmers markets?<br />DHS provides farmers with ‘Customer Survey’ cards. These are distributed by the farmer when any customer makes a purchase. <br />Here are the results so far: <br />Why do you like to shop at farmers markets? (top reasons in descending order)<br />Good/fresh food<br />Fresh produce<br />Buy locally grown/made items<br />Support local farmers<br />It’s fun/relaxed atmosphere/music<br />How often do you shop at farmers markets?<br />Every week (54%) Bellman Dairy – WI Farmer<br />Every two weeks (13%)<br />Once or twice a month (10%)<br />More than once a week (9%)<br />As much as I can (3%)<br />11<br />
  16. 16. What did you buy today at the market? (Top 7 responses in descending order)<br />a) Fresh produce<br /> b) Baked goods<br /> c) Vegetable plants/fruit trees/bushes<br /> d) Flowers<br /> e) Honey/jam/jelly<br /> f) Meat<br /> g) Eggs<br /> 4. If a year-round market was in your area, would you shop at it during the winter months?<br />Yes 74.8%<br /> No 14.5%<br /> No response 6.6%<br /> Depends or already has year-round market. 4.1% <br />12<br />
  17. 17. 5. What services could the market offer or provide that would make <br /> you shop there more often?(Top reasons in descending order)<br />a) Restrooms<br /> b) Hand washing stations<br /> c) Canning and freezing classes<br /> d) Chairs/sitting area to relax and eat goodies<br /> e) More variety, music, cooking demos, garbage cans, etc<br />How did you pay for your items today?<br /> a) Cash 62%<br /> b) Credit 14.7%<br /> c) Debit 11.8%<br /> d) EBT 10.4%<br /> e) Other (senior FMNP/checks) 1.1%<br />13<br />
  18. 18. Additional comments from customers:<br />Keep having the markets. Need lower prices. I live on Social Security.<br />(EBT customer) I think it’s great that some vendors participate in EBT/WIC program.<br />(EBT customer) Thank you for making it possible to use the EBT card at farmers markets.<br />(EBT customer) Thank you for making EBT purchases possible at our farmers market. I found 4 vendors today who accepted EBT.<br /> Keep up the good work!<br />(IA City customer) Please consider a year-round market.<br />I enjoy seeing what God has blessed so many of the vendors with. <br />Sometimes I can get things a lot less at the super market.<br />I am trying to stay local so that my impact on our environment is lessened to its smallest point <br />14<br />
  19. 19. I appreciate the meat from Geest Farms<br />Just love getting local, fresh produce<br />Quality is superb. More vendors should take farmer market checks (FMNP)<br />(Out of state customer) Hope Iowa leads the nation in supporting local food supplies. Great fun always.<br />Hand out recipes or directions for cooking<br />The lady who sells honey and soap is very sweet. <br /> I like to shop at farmers markets because the vendors are friendly and like to answer questions.<br />I’m 73 years old & enjoy the whole idea of farmers markets. It’s a great tradition.<br />We want a market in Garner, IA.<br />Keep it coming!<br />Thank you for the EBT. It really helps. <br />15<br />
  20. 20. Summary<br />State agency(ies) need to be involved<br />Use SNAP admin dollars when possible<br /> Create a Plan<br />Decide whether to certify the market or individual farmers <br />What type of equipment is to be used? <br />Decide whether to purchase, rent or get a ‘free’ POS<br />Determine how you will get data on your project (Where will it come from?)<br />Determine what paperwork is required (USDA Retailer App, banking application to accept credit/debit, etc)<br />Recruit farmers in fall/winter. Complete training prior to market season. (They’re too busy after April 15th to do paperwork) <br />Develop outreach/promotion approach<br />Develop monitoring schedule <br />16<br />
  21. 21. How will fees be paid? Who is paying for the standard monthly fees? Are you reimbursing the farmer/market?<br />What about supplies? (paper, cord replacements, battery, etc) Who is paying?<br /> Communication issues – How will you communicate with farmers? EBT households? Market managers? <br />Last but not least, go have fun and make it work!<br />17<br />
  22. 22. 18<br />Other References:<br /><ul><li>http://www.dhs.state.ia.us/Consumers/Assistance_Programs/FoodAssistance/FarmersMarket.html
  23. 23. The above link will display copies of the recent EBT Wireless Newsletters and provide access to dvd for EBT Wireless Project
  24. 24. For more information, contact Jan Walters (515) 281-3588 or jwalter1@dhs.state.ia.us </li>

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