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The Food Security Project

| Virginia

Mar 26, 2015


The Food Security Project takes a multifaceted approach to improving local food access for low-income individuals and families in Virginia. While the program includes a direct education approach, environmental initiatives are an important aspect of the program. Key initiatives include the development of a short farmers market orientation lesson for SNAP-Ed clients, the creation of a tool-kit to assist farmers market managers in launching, managing, marketing and evaluating Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) programs for the acceptance of SNAP benefits at their market, and training volunteers to increase community capacity.

Type of Program

A systems-level approach to improving food security in Virginia

Years of Program Implementation


Number of Participants

2,300 contacts over the past program year

Target Audience

Mothers of young children and change agents, or individuals and groups that drive change in a community. Farmers market managers are the main change agents considered in this initiative due to their ability to increase access to fresh, local foods for low-income individuals and families.

Program Evaluation

  • Formative: Surveys of our program assistants, focus groups with target population, guided shopping trips with target population, statewide survey of farmers market managers and local food organizations
  • Process: monitoring where and how often the lesson is being taught, number of partnerships with farmers market managers and other local food organization across the state, volunteer recruitment.

Statistics and Program Impact

The program made 2,300 contacts over the past program year (2013-2014) in 23 farmers markets across Virginia. In 2014, 48% of adult comprehensive participants improved their food security status.

This article was written and submitted by Sarah Misyak. For further information please contact Meredith Ledlie Johnson or Sarah Misyak.

The Food Security Project of the Virginia Family Nutrition Program was renamed the Food Access and Availability Project of the Virginia Family Nutrition Program.