An Investigation of Social Ecological Barriers to and Facilitators of WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program Voucher Redemption

Renata Blumberg, Emily Fowler, Yeon Bai, Pankaj Lal, Alyssa Smolen, Ilana Dubrovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the United States, many communities lack sufficient access to fresh produce. To improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides eligible participants vouchers through the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) that can be redeemed directly from farmers at markets or farm stands. However, FMNP voucher redemption rates in New Jersey remain lower than those in neighboring states. This article used the social ecological model to examine differences between FMNP participants who redeem vouchers (Redeemers) and those who do not (non-Redeemers) in the areas of: produce procurement practices and consumption frequency, and barriers to and facilitators of FMNP voucher redemption. This cross-sectional study included WIC FMNP participants (N = 329) in northern New Jersey, USA. Analyses were conducted using descriptive statistics, independent sample t-tests, and one-way ANOVA. Compared to Redeemers, non-Redeemers consumed fewer average daily vegetable servings, were more likely to shop at small grocery/corner stores, and encountered significant barriers to FMNP redemption, e.g., difficulty finding time to redeem vouchers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1871
JournalNutrients
Volume14
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2022

Keywords

  • Farmers Market Nutrition Program
  • farmers’ markets
  • food access
  • local food
  • social ecological model

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