The Sustainable CAPE Farmers’ Market Coalition
The Sustainable CAPE Farmers Market Coalition works together to help interested markets more easily understand, implement and run nutrition incentive programs. Nutrition incentive programs are designed to increase affordability of local foods for those on SNAP (food stamps) and those using WIC and Senior Discount Coupons, as well as certain eligible patients of local doctors’ offices.
Through “FREE Fruits & Veg” Programs up to $10 of SNAP, WIC or Senior Discount money is doubled, effectively yielding $20 worth of Farmers’ Market tokens to spend on healthful local food. We also serve on the State Steering Committee to offer strategic assistance in implementing the Healthy Incentive Program (HIP) throughout Massachusetts. We are committed to helping our local vendors offer the HIP incentive (where fruit & vegetable purchases are refunded on SNAP cards); we work with a team of “boots on the ground” across Cape Cod, including those at Buy Fresh, Buy Local Cape Cod and the Orleans Farmers’ Market. We also offer a fruit & vegetable prescription program which runs at coalition farmers’ markets, called FLAVORx, in partnership with Emerald Physicians, member Cape Cod Healthcare.
When nutrition incentives are used, funds are driven to our local vendors, local food is more affordable, and we benefit our region’s longterm health. We believe it’s a win-win-win.
History… and which farmers markets offer nutrition incentives here on Cape Cod?
The Orleans Farmers’ Market (OFM) gets all the credit for being the first on the Cape to offer nutrition incentives. The Sustainable CAPE Coalition was born of the desire of the OFM and Truro Educational Farmers’ Market to work together to grow their programs – the sharing of knowledge and joint promotion made each individual market more effective in reaching a broader socio-economic group of Cape Codders. In 2014 Sustainable CAPE wrote and won an MDAR then USDA grant to build a Farmers Market Coalition across the Cape to nurture and sustain farmers’ market nutrition incentive programs. The coalition has now helped every Barnstable County market interested in offering SNAP, WIC and Senior Discount Coupon bonuses to do so. Currently the markets that offer nutrition incentives include: Falmouth Farmers’ Market, Orleans Farmers’ Market, Provincetown Farmers’ Market, Truro Educational Farmers’ Market, and the Wellfleet Farmers’ Market. As the HIP incentive becomes available locally, we’ll include every market that has a vendor offering HIP too!
What does the Sustainable CAPE Farmers Market Coalition do?
The Coalition acts as a guide and sounding board. We share best practices and expertise, as well as offer tracking forms and literature to make implementing and running nutrition incentive programs easier for market managers, customers and vendors alike. We support markets in getting nutrition incentive programs up and tracking data as they operate. In addition, the coalition jointly promotes those markets offering FREE Fruits & Veg Programs. Benefits for those running these programs include:
- Coordinated print marketing and promotion – increasing public awareness of participating markets’ nutrition incentives
- Assistance in implementing Nutrition Incentive Programs – increasing affordability for all
- Sharing printed materials – increasing comprehension of programs for vendors and clients
- Market education for the public via press, social media, etc.
The coalition has no membership fee.
We look forward to supporting the work of our individual and unique Farmers’ Markets in ways that work best for each market. Sustainable CAPE wishes to encourage and augment existing efforts in teaching about local food, to promote and facilitate local food access as well as to help determine the most effective ways to engage children and families in support of the Cape’s physical, community and environmental health. For further information please contact info (AT) SustainableCAPE (DOT) org.
Current Coalition Members:
If you are a part of a farmers’ market on Cape Cod, please contact us if you would like to be a part of our coalition. We’d love to include you!
Please Note: The poster and print materials created to date have been designed for those markets offering a FREE Fruit and Veg Program. We include more markets as we grow!
Please thank Cape Air and the Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank with your business. Both locally based organizations have been instrumental for many years in providing funds to support these programs and to assist us in increasing local food access and local food awareness for all. The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance, the USDA and many private individuals have also been partners with Sustainable CAPE in developing this work over the past years. Please support our sponsors with your business and gratitude!