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Bachelor of Arts
Environmental Science and Policy
Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), farmers’ markets, food justice, food access, sociology
This honors project discusses if farmers’ markets are reasonable sites to increase food access to low-income communities. This larger topic is specifically examined by asking how Massachusetts’ Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) is playing out at farmers’ markets in Hampden County, Massachusetts in 2022. Additionally, if the HIP program is to achieve its goal of increasing food access to low-income communities through farmers’ markets, markets must first be generally successful. HIP is unique to Massachusetts and affords food assistance recipients up to $80 a month to spend on locally grown produce from direct producer-to-consumer retailers, like farmers’ markets. This thesis uses onsite observations and interviews with vendors and market managers of six Hampden County farmers’ markets (Longmeadow Farmers’ Market, Farmers’ Market at Forest Park, Springfield Downtown Farmers’ Market, Center Fresh Chicopee, Holyoke Farmers’ Market, and the Westfield Farmers’ Market). Based on my findings from these interviews, I will then discuss how HIP is playing out on the ground at Hampden County farmers’ markets in 2022. l then examine to what extent these farmers’ markets are successful. Lastly, I conclude with key findings from this honors project, recommendations for the future of farmers’ markets, limitations of this study, and opportunities for future research.
©2023 R.C. Ettenger. Access limited to the Smith College community and other researchers while on campus. Smith College community members also may access from off-campus using a Smith College log-in. Other off-campus researchers may request a copy through Interlibrary Loan for personal use.
Ettenger, R.C., ""Supporting local agriculture and feeding people": Farmers’ Markets in Hampden County and Fresh Food for Low-Income Communities" (2023). Honors Project, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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