This HIA considered three alternative scenarios for proposed changes to a farmer’s market in Trenton, New Jersey. The scenarios under review by the market’s executive board included: 1) minor cosmetic changes, such as better lighting and new wiring; 2) a major remodel aimed at more effectively integrating the market into the surrounding community; and 3) a market outreach strategy, including mobile produce vans and satellite markets to maximize the community’s health benefits. The HIA explored the impacts that each scenario would have on patrons’ nutrition and physical activity patterns, as well as the potential economic and social capital benefits for vendors and the surrounding community. Lastly, the HIA explored the potential benefit that an expanded offering of public health services might have for farmer’s market patrons. The HIA concluded that a combination of the second and third scenarios posed the greatest potential benefit to the surrounding community, patrons and vendors. However, the HIA recommended ways to improve even the first scenario by suggesting that vendor stalls be equipped with electronic benefits transfer (EBT) machines that would allow patrons to use government benefits—such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dollars—to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at the market. One key, overall recommendation is that the market should offer nutrition education programs and market coupons to influence patron’s food preference and increase their likelihood of selecting healthy options.
This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.