Health & Wellness

USU Extension Releases Marketing Guide to Encourage SNAP Shoppers at Farmers Markets

By Aubree Thomas |

The Utah State University USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program team recently published a best practices guide on how to create a social marketing campaign to promote farmers markets that accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits.

“The best practices guide shares lessons learned from our social marketing campaign and examples of our campaign advertising, such as social media posts, mobile ads, bus ads, flyers, posters and mailers,” said Kelsey Hall, USU Extension local food marketing state specialist. “We explain how managers can use our 10-step process to create their own social marketing campaign to promote SNAP and Double Up Food Bucks participation at their farmers markets.”

The goal of promoting farmers markets to low-income and SNAP-eligible individuals is to increase fruit and vegetable sales and consumption as well as community involvement, said Hall. USU Extension houses Utah’s SNAP Education program, Create Better Health (CBH), which provides nutrition education and social marketing interventions.

“We help people with limited resources create better health through physical activity and healthy food choices,” said LaCee Jimenez, USU Extension Create Better Health program coordinator. “When farmers markets accept SNAP, it makes it possible for SNAP recipients to access fresh, high-quality food while supporting local farmers.”

Since 2012, there has been an increasing percentage of SNAP dollars being spent at farmers markets and stands. In 2020 alone, a total of $136,678 was redeemed in SNAP dollars with 5,265 transactions at Utah farmers markets.

According to Hall, SNAP is the greatest underused federal program that can help create revenue for farmers as vendors at farmers markets and stands. This guide can also serve as a tool to help markets become SNAP vendors.

“We have a total of 45 farmers markets in Utah, and only 23 of them welcome SNAP,” she said. “During COVID-19, 31 markets were open in Utah. This is a great opportunity to work with markets currently not accepting SNAP benefits to help them become approved vendors.”

The best practices guide is available to download at: digitalcommons.usu.edu/extension_curall/2132.

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