How Access to Farmers’ Markets Impacts Food Insecurity among Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participants
Farmers’ markets have been viewed as an accessible and affordable option for expanding food access. However, it’s unclear if farmers’ markets have an impact on some of the most vulnerable in society, including supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) recipients. SNAP is a federally funded entitlements program that provides monthly benefits to low-income households. SNAP Participants can redeem benefits at a variety of different stores, including some farmers’ markets. Past literature has shown that having access to SNAP benefits has been associated with lower levels of food insecurity. Yet many SNAP participants still experience food insecurity. One explanation for this is a lack of access to affordable, healthy foods due to a shortage of food stores in communities. This thesis contributes to the existing literature by using administrative data from the state of Michigan to identify the relationship between farmers’ market access and food insecurity among SNAP participants. My results suggest that there is no statistically significant relationship between farmers’ market access and the rate of food insecurity among SNAP participants at the county level.
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