CCC Releases Report on the Use of Food Programs at NYC Farmers’ Markets
Released May 7, 2013
CCC Study Recommends Ways to Increase Children and Families’ Access to Healthy, Affordable Food
May 7, 2013 – Today, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York, Inc. (CCC) released From Farm to Table: The Use of Federally-Funded Food Programs at New York City Farmers’ Markets.
Findings from CCC’s report show that low-income families are using federally-funded food programs to purchase produce at farmers’ markets throughout New York City, thereby enabling program participants to access fresh, local foods. The study also confirms that federal food programs are especially important to economically sustain markets in neighborhoods with high poverty rates, where many residents use these programs to buy food. Lastly, CCC’s findings highlight additional opportunities to increase food program usage in New York City’s farmers’ markets. To this end, the study makes recommendations that, if implemented, would increase child and family access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
CCC’s report resulted from a CCC-conducted survey of regional farmers who sell in New York City’s farmers’ markets. The survey asked farmers about their experiences with the use of three federally-funded food programs – the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps); and the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) – at their New York City farmers’ market booths. These three federally-funded food programs are critical tools in the fight against food insecurity and childhood obesity in New York City. As CCC’s study shows, the ability to use these programs at local farmers’ markets helps New York City’s low-income families, many of whom live in neighborhoods where there is a dearth of healthy and affordable food retail options, to bring fruits and vegetables into their homes.
“Over half a million New York City children live in poverty, and many of their parents lack the resources needed to consistently access the nutritious foods that they and their children need to be healthy and thrive. Through our qualitative research, CCC identified several practical steps to increase the number of farmers who accept federally-funded food programs at booths in New York City farmers’ markets so that more families benefit from convenient access to healthy foods,” said CCC’s Executive Director Jennifer March-Joly.
“Federal food programs not only help low-income families, but they also enable farmers’ markets to exist and flourish in neighborhoods throughout New York City. It is essential to support and expand the use of government food programs at farmers’ markets, as these programs bring healthy foods and financial resources into so many New York City communities,” explained CCC’s Senior Policy Associate for Food and Economic Security Louise Feld.