- Conduct community outreach to build awareness of farmers markets and the food assistance programs available
- Work with farmers market managers and vendors to implement policy, systems, and environmental changes that are supportive of healthy behaviors
- Help shoppers maximize their food dollars at farmers markets through tours that may include introductions to vendors, tips, and support
- Provide resources and experiential nutrition education to shoppers at farmers markets, including tastings and cooking demonstrations
Food Navigators attend a one-day training and are equipped with a program Playbook that provides direction on how to carry out each of the four key components of their role, as well as provides guidance to farmers market managers and community partner organizations.
Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Food Insecurity/Food Assistance, Other: Food Resource Management
Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change
Intervention Reach and Adoption
Setting: Farmers markets
Target Audience: Parents/Mothers/Fathers, Adults, Older Adults
Race/Ethnicity: No special focus
- Program Playbook
- Recipe website promotion cards for sharing additional recipes with shoppers
- Seasonality Poster for produce items listed by month
- Food Navigator apparel
- Identifying table runner
- Shopper behavior surveys with items aligned with the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework
- Customized paid social media posts
- Customized on-day food navigator training
- Evaluation and reporting services
The unintended benefits of the intervention include:
- Market vendors feeling more connected to the market due to the open line of communication with the Food Navigators
- The overall acceptance of the program by vendors
The challenges include:
- Market criteria and selection is key to success for the program (e.g. the market should have enough produce vendors from whom to buy ingredients and have a schedule broad enough for residents working different schedules to have access to the market)
- Community outreach through social media promotion can be difficult if the market doesn’t currently have an online profile to build from
Lessons learned from feedback include recipes for tastings/demonstrations should be adapted to how food is purchased in a farmers market. For instance, corn listed in ears instead of cups. Recommendations include having market selection criterion and successful recipes for use in farmers markets located in the program Playbook.
Evidence-based Approach: Research-tested
|Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST)||Changes – Medium Term (MT)||Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT)||Population Results (R)|
|Sectors of Influence|
ST1. Healthy Eating
- In 2019, 47% (354/762) of shoppers reported intentions to eat more vegetables as a result of their interaction with the Food Navigator.
- In 2019, 50% (377/762) of shoppers reported intentions to eat a greater variety of vegetables after interacting with the Food Navigator.
MT1. Healthy Eating Behaviors
- In 2019, 29% (38/133) of shoppers who interacted with the Food Navigator more than once reported a higher frequency of vegetable consumption between their first and last survey completed.
MT2. Food Resource Management
- MT2f: In 2019, 45% (346/762) of shoppers reported buying more vegetables as a result of their interactions with the Food Navigator.
MT5. Nutrition Supports
- In 2019, all (7/7) farmers markets had a paid social media promotion campaign and used organic social media posts to promote the market and food navigator activities.
- Google analytics determined the 128,066 the unique people were exposed to the formal promotion campaign in the seven market areas.
Other evaluation tools used during the establishment of the evidence base can be shared with program adopters. The suite of mixed methods tools are listed below:
- Interview guide for market managers, market vendors, and market board members
- Interview guide for farmers market shoppers
- Focus group guide for farmers market food navigators
- Photo Voice Project for farmers market food navigators
- Observational Survey tool, Farmers Market Audit Tool adapted from Byker Shanks, C. Jilcott Pitts, S., & Gustafson, A. (2015)
- Activity Log for Farmers Market Food Navigators
- PSE change survey tool
- End of Season Survey for farmers market managers
- End of Season Survey for farmers market vendors
- End of Season Survey for farmers market food navigators
- Training Follow-Up survey for farmers market food navigators
- Mid-season check-in surveys for Food Navigators
- Shopper intercept survey for use in intervention and comparison markets
- Observation form for supervisors of Food Navigators