Market Bank program increases revenue by over $5,000 inaugural year
Seneca County Common Ground has released its first Impact Report for the Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market. The report highlights the Market Bank program which was introduced during the 2021 season, with the help of a Tiffin Community Foundation grant.
The market bank program gives customers more flexibility and accessibility when shopping. Specifically, customers with EBT cards have the opportunity to use their funds to shop with local vendors to purchase edible products, which normally they would be unable to do. In addition, due to a federal grant managed by Produce Perks Midwest, customers who redeemed their funds here had their dollars matched up to $25 each day to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Market Bank also made it possible for the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) and for Ohio WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) vouchers to be accepted by the vendors. Credit card users were also able to shop more freely this year by using The Market Bank to shop with tokens when customers didn’t have cash on hand.
During the inaugural year of the market bank, over an additional $5,000 was brought into the local food economy by being spent with Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market Vendors. Out of that $5,000 nearly 40% came from credit cards, 34% from SNAP, 23% from Produce Perks, 2% from WIC, and 1% from the Senior Farmer Market Nutrition Program.
According to market manager Kirsten Ameling, “Not only did the market bank bring in money to the local food economy, but it made shopping local far more accessible to the entire community, regardless of their income.”
Out of all SNAP shoppers, 40% had never visited a farmers market prior to their interaction with the market bank. 83% SNAP of shoppers felt that the quality of produce at the farmers market was higher then at the grocery store, 85% felt that produce was more affordable and 80% of SNAP shoppers saw an increase in their produce consumption.
Board member Hallie Williams, who established this program, shared “Fresh food should be attainable for everyone. While the Market Bank is new and unique to this community, we see it as a great success in making our community far more inclusive and accessible to support local businesses and improve their health. For all those that participated in this program, we thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you next season.”
The Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market will continue to operate this program next market season, which begins on May 21st and will run every Saturday until October 29th, 2022. If you are interested in purchasing Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market gift certificates, please visit https://bit.ly/TSFMGift or contact market manager Kirsten Ameling at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Seneca County Common Ground
Created in 2019, Seneca County Common Ground (SCCG) is a new organization whose mission is to strengthen Seneca County's local food system through collaboration to improve the overall health and growth of our community, and a vision of a vibrant, accessible and sustainable local food system in Seneca County that supports the health of residents, businesses and institutions. The board of the organization includes Reverend Aaron Gerlach of Old Trinity Episcopal Church, local business owner and chair of the Downtown Retailers Committee Dave Spridgeon, local business leader Dale Depew, Audrey Flood, Hallie Williams and local food vendors Kristy Buskirk of Clay Hill Farms and John Riehm of Riehm Produce Farm. SCCG oversees the operations of the Tiffin Seneca Farmers Market and supports other local food initiatives including the Tiffin Community Kitchen Project. Find out more at sccommonground.org or find Seneca County Common Ground on Facebook.