The Power of Produce (PoP) Club is a farmers market incentive program for children that originated at Oregon City Farmers Market in Oregon City, Oregon, in 2011. The program has been put into practice at thousands of farmers markets throughout the nation. Each week at farmers markets where PoP Club is implemented, children ages 4 to 12 receive a $2 token to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables.
In Minnesota, funding was received through an Extension grant to support the implementation of PoP Club at 14 farmers markets during the summer of 2017. All of the farmers markets received EBT and served low income communities. A toolkit was developed to assist the farmers markets in implementing the program. SNAP-Ed educators supported the implementation of PoP Club through technical assistance, logistical support, and on-site nutrition education.
Through web-based surveys of 357 parents of PoP Club-participating children we learned that, 67% of these respondents say their children are eating, or at least trying, more fruits and vegetables. Overall, the PoP Club is increasing family attendance and spending at Minnesota farmers markets. Nearly $10,000 was reimbursed to vendors during 2017. The 2017 PoP Club results storymap shows a detailed report on our 2017 PoP Club findings.
We expanded our reach in 2018 to provide Extension funding to 30 farmers markets in Minnesota. Results of 2018 are currently being evaluated. Each participating farmers market received its own two-page report with market-specific data, designed to be distributed to partners and potential sponsors. Here is an example from the Lincoln Park Farmers Market in Duluth, Minnesota.
PoP Club engages children at farmers markets and empowers them to make healthful food choices. It aims to:
- increase family participation at farmers markets
- increase vendor revenue
- build healthier communities
The PoP Club Toolkit provides farmers markets and partnering organizations with the guidance, resources, and templates needed to successfully put in place the program.
The PoP Club Toolkit was created in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Extension Family Development, Youth Development, and Master Gardeners, as well as the Minnesota Farmers Market Association. Development of the toolkit and funding of farmers markets for PoP Club program delivery were supported through a University of Minnesota Extension Issue Area Grant.
This article was submitted by the University of Minnesota, a SNAP-Ed Implementing Agency. For more information, please contact Trina Adler.