At the Experimental Station, we work with government, the private sector and other community organizations to test and advocate for models of food access that work for vulnerable communities, make the most out of the donated dollar, support local small farmers, and sustain the regional ecology.
In the spirit of measuring and sharing our results, we're going to run a short series of year in review on our involvement the farmers market and the healthy food access scene in 2013, from a few different angles.
Today, we're sharing some data and considerations on what types of foods low-income shoppers bought at the 61st Street Farmers Market in 2013.
61st Street Farmers Market
Since founding the Market in 2008, Experimental Station has worked to increase access to and affordability of fresh and healthy food for all residents in Chicago's Woodlawn, Hyde Park and surrounding neighborhoods. All our farmers and food artisans are local (Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan) and grow, raise and produce their food following sustainable practices, with many being certified organic.
To ensure everyone in our community has access to fresh, clean food we offer the DVCP (Double Value Coupon Program) so that every LINK (food stamps in Illinois) shopper's purchase is matched up to $25 per market day. DVCP puts healthy food within reach of all budgets and invites low income shoppers to get a direct connection to where their food is coming from. Local small farms and food vendors take in more revenue from LINK purchases when there is a DVCP match.
On the left, a $25 dollar basket at the 61st Street Farmers Market. On the right, that same basket plus $25 more worth of food from the Double Value Coupons.
What Types of Foods
In 2013 our 61st Street Farmers Market cleared record amounts of LINK sales ($20,447.50) and DVCP as well ($18,692.00), #1 in the state of Illinois.
One way we can look to measure our impact is to ask: what kinds of foods did people spend their LINK money on when they shopped at the market? So we sliced the LINK sales data into food categories to get a sense of this: