2016 was the most successful season for Urbana’s Market at the Square’s SNAP program. Over $21,500 in SNAP and SNAP double value incentives were distributed during the 27-week season. Thanks to Farm Credit Illinois and LINK Up Illinois, Urbana’s Market at the Square was able to boost their outreach strategies in order to bolster a more effective SNAP program. Here is what the Market Director, Natalie Kenny Marquez, had to say about effective outreach strategies for their SNAP program:
"Direct communication with our customers and the community is by far the most effective way to promote and educate about the farmers market SNAP program. Being able to articulate the program, how it works, what vendors are eligible to accept the funds – this is key! We also found that, by producing a short video, we were able to share this with our community partners who then included it in their weekly e-newsletters or showcased it at their places of worship or workshops if we were unable to attend in-person. It’s also be great for our website to have this short video for those customers that visit the website in advance of attending market to learn more about the SNAP program. Additionally, working harder to include an image/icon of a LINK card on all of our promotions and in our handbooks has better communicated our dedication to expanding access to healthy food to all of the community. We received many positive comments this season because of our intentional effort to boost exposure to the program by adding this information on all published materials, promotions, marketing and advertising. This was all made possibly by the grant funding from LINK Up Illinois and our other SNAP partner this season, Farm Credit Illinois."
To learn more about the SNAP program at Urbana’s Market at the Square or to view the video that the Market Director mentioned, please visit www.urbanaillinois.us/market.