These are the third and fourth items in the suite of materials developed by Maryland Hunger Solutions to help market managers and others understand and implement federal benefits and incentive programs at farmers markets. This section of materials has 2 parts and each is a key portion of the 2012 incentive program at markets that are part of the Baltimore Bucks initiative.
Incentive programs are intended to increase the amount that a participant can purchase at market by matching one or more of their federal nutrition program benefits – in this case only the Fruit & Vegetable Check (FVC) – with coupons that are funded through grants or other sources. Each market that implements such a program has dedicated funding to provide coupons to participants to increase their purchasing power at market.
The incentive system in the Baltimore Bucks program has been updated for 2012 so that the procedure for redeeming the matching coupons at market is slightly different. Here’s a handy diagram of how the new system will work at market: 2012 Baltimore Bucks Program Diagram as well as a comparison chart each of the different benefits programs at market: 2012 Baltimore Bucks Program Comparison Chart.
The two parts to these materials are integral to the operation of this new system: the Coupon and the Receipt. The participants will select their approved foods from the FVC-authorized farmer and pay with their FVC. The farmer will then circle the amount paid on the receipt and tell the customers that they can get Baltimore Bucks for their receipt at the information tent. The customer can then go to the information tent and get the Baltimore Bucks coupon to spend on more FVC eligible items.
The program is already operating at 7 Baltimore-area farmers markets. Check here for the complete list: 2012 Baltimore Bucks markets and get to market to see incentive programs in action!