Utilizing Personal Agency to Explore Market Manager Engagement with a Fresh Food Access Initiative in Florida

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Utilizing Personal Agency to Explore Market Manager Engagement with a Fresh Food Access Initiative in Florida
Gusto, Cody R
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[Gainesville, Fla.]
University of Florida
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Master's ( M.S.)
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University of Florida
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Agricultural Education and Communication
Committee Chair:
Diaz,John M
Committee Co-Chair:
Monaghan,Paul F
Committee Members:
Warner,Laura Anne
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Subjects / Keywords:
farmers-markets -- food-access -- nutritional-access -- snap
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
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government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
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Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, M.S.


Low-resource individuals often struggle to access affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. Both urban and rural low-access environments are typified by a lack of physically accessible whole food provisioners, such as grocery stores, farmers markets and other outlets. Low-resource communities in urban areas often face fresh fruit and vegetable access constraints due to racial and economic segregation. Barriers to access for rural communities are more likely due to underdeveloped transportation infrastructure. In both cases, these food desert conditions are exemplified by affordability and physical access barriers. This phenomenon has significant implications for nutrition and health outcomes within low-resource communities. Obesity and other chronic, diet-related diseases have precipitated a public health crisis, spurring innovative and practical solutions to improve fresh fruit and vegetable access for low-resource communities. One such initiative is the Florida based Fresh Access Bucks program. Fresh Access Bucks provides a dollar for dollar match to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program beneficiaries through their Electronic Benefits Transfer card to redeem fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables at farmers markets in Florida. The program is designed to improve affordable access to fresh fruits and vegetables for low-resource families while stimulating the local economy by supporting purchases from local farmers. While there is a growing body of evidence that suggests a correlation between incentive programs designed to increase the purchasing power of low-resource individuals and fresh fruit and vegetables consumption rates, most research explores Supplemental Nutrition Assistance consumer engagement with these programs. At present, there little to no literature regarding market manager perspectives and experiences regarding program adoption and use. This project therefore explores market managers perceptions of control and self-efficacy in engaging with low-resource consumers through the Fresh Access Bucks program. Specifically, this study utilizes the Integrated Behavioral Model to describe market manager characteristics of the personal agency construct within the model. Qualitative data was analyzed using the Constant-Comparative method to identify and explore pertinent themes related to this objective. Respondents participated in semi-structured, one on one phone interviews ranging in length from 35 to 80 minutes. All recorded interviews were transcribed and content-analyzed. The findings from this study provide meaningful insights into how market managers perceive their ability to effectively administer and sustain a program designed to provide fresh food access to low-resource communities. ( en )
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Thesis (M.S.)--University of Florida, 2019.
Adviser: Diaz,John M.
Co-adviser: Monaghan,Paul F.
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by Cody R Gusto.

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© 2019 Cody Gusto


To my parents Jeff and Renee , my siblings Brandon and Jenna and my amazing partner, Cherice


4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS My being able to pursue higher education degrees and complete this research project is due in large part to the support of my family. My parents, Jeff and Renee, my brother Brandon, my sister Jenna and my wife Cherice hav e given me so much encouragement and confidence the m sure grandparents, Wanda and Harold Libby, deserve a special acknowledgement for their un wavering support and love. Harold, who passed away the week prior to the initial submission of this manuscript, dedicated his life to encouraging learning and education in all its forms and tried to facilitate those opportunities whenever he could for the people he love d . He saw potential in me for this grateful I could share the news of my PhD program acceptance prior to his passing. I would also like to thank my academic mentors. My advisor, John Diaz, al ways provided his support and guidance in a straight, attentive and considerate way of my work, the initial lack of confidence, the unpolished early writing samples and has consistently been able to provide fair and measured cri tiques, always with the aim of bringing me to my potential and to consistently improve my skills. Monaghan and Laura Warner as my committee members, who have both served a similar role in my development and have undoubtedly improved this thesis project with their perspectives and insights.


5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 8 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ......................... 9 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 12 Problem Statement ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 12 Purpose ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 14 Rationale ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ . 15 Significance ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 17 Key Terms Defined ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 18 Assumptions ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 20 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ .............................. 21 Chapter Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 21 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ................................ ................................ ................................ . 23 Policy, Poverty and Food Access ................................ ................................ ........................... 23 Supplemental Nutrition Assist ance ................................ ................................ ......................... 24 Diet, Nutrition and Health Consequences ................................ ................................ .............. 25 DTC Markets Strategies to Improve Low Nutritional Access ................................ ............... 27 Barriers to Improving Access ................................ ................................ ................................ . 28 Price Barriers ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 29 Nutrition Incentive Programs ................................ ................................ ................................ . 30 Fresh Access Bucks ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 31 SNAP Consumer Perceptions towards FM Incentives ................................ ........................... 32 Manager Perce ptions towards FM Incentives ................................ ................................ ......... 33 Evolution of the IBM ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 34 IBM in Context ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 39 Personal Agency: Relevance to Research ................................ ................................ ............... 42 Chapter Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 44 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 46 Research Purpose and Objectives ................................ ................................ ........................... 46 Epistemological Position ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 47 Researcher Bias Statement ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 48 Research Design ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 49


6 Population ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 50 Participant Selec tion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 51 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 52 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......................... 55 Emergent/Open Coding ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 56 Axial/Thematic Codi ng ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 57 Selective Coding ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 58 Justification of Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 59 Credibility ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................ 60 Transferability ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 62 Confirmability ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 63 Chapter Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 64 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................... 67 Chapter Introduction ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 67 Participant and Market Condition Summary ................................ ................................ .......... 68 Research Objective One: Perceived Control ................................ ................................ .......... 71 Lack of Awareness o f Organizational Collaboration ................................ ...................... 71 Declining Interest in Local Food and FMs ................................ ................................ ...... 72 Bureaucratic Limitations (Rules and Regulations) ................................ .......................... 74 Grocery , Online Retailers and Other Markets as Competition ................................ ........ 75 Consumer Motivations, Values, Perceptions and Preferences ................................ ........ 77 Initial Consumer Outreach and Exposure ................................ ................................ ........ 79 Public Support and Understanding of SNAP ................................ ................................ .. 80 Organizational Structure and Perceived Level of Fun ding Support For Equipment Use, Staffing and Marketing Efforts ................................ ................................ ............ 82 Locally Eligible Growers and Producers (Supply and Demand Issues) .......................... 85 Transportation and Physical Access ................................ ................................ ................ 88 Research Objective Two: Self Efficacy ................................ ................................ ................. 89 Risk Taking and Experimentation ................................ ................................ ................... 90 Consumer Education ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 91 Internal Rewards Program and Incentive Offe rings ................................ ........................ 92 Targeted Messaging and Promotion ................................ ................................ ................ 93 Data Tracking and Accounting ................................ ................................ ........................ 94 Vendor Contract and Policy Enforcement ................................ ................................ ....... 95 Grassroots and Word of Mouth Engagement ................................ ................................ . 97 Loyalty, Trust and Relationship Building with Vendors ................................ ................. 98 Cultivating Market Experiences ................................ ................................ .................... 100 Strategic Coordination with Partner Organizations ................................ ....................... 103 Chapter Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 105 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ................................ ............................... 107 Summary of Key Findings: Conclusions and Implications ................................ .................. 107 Research Objective A: Perceived Control ................................ ................................ ............ 108


7 Transportation and Physical Market Access Are a Perceived Limitation to FAB Growth ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 108 Managers Share Concern About Waning Consumer Interest in DTC Markets, FMs and Local Food. ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 110 Organizational Struct Support and Impact ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 111 Research Objective B: Self Efficacy ................................ ................................ .................... 113 Consumer Education Activities Provided Managers Opportunities to Strategize and Express Self Efficacy Measures ................................ ................................ ................ 113 Relationship Building and Perceived Loyalty Are Key Metrics of Success and Impact for Managers ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 114 Recommendations for Practice ................................ ................................ ............................. 115 On Transportation and Physical Market Access Barriers ................................ .............. 115 On the Importance of Strategic Coordination with Partner Organizations ................... 116 On the Concern Over Sustained Funding for Staffing and Marketing Efforts .............. 116 Recommendations for Research ................................ ................................ ........................... 117 On the Utility of Formative Findings and the Generalizability of th e PA Construct and IBM Framework ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 117 ............... 118 On the Concern about Short and Long Term Availability of Eligible Local Growers . 119 On the Role of Market Organizational Structure in Affecting MM PA Perceptions .... 119 APPENDIX A SEMI STRUCTURED INTERVIEW PROTOCOL ................................ ............................ 120 B INFORMED CONSENT PROTOCOL ................................ ................................ ................ 121 REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................ 123 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 133


8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 FAB adopting questionnaire ................................ ................................ .............................. 54 4 1 List of thematic codes relating to perceived control and self efficacy ............................ 104


9 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Theory of Reasoned Action.Source: Fishbein, M., and Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention and behavior: An introduction to theory and research. ......................... 35 2 2 Theory of Planned Behavior.Source: Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational behavior and human decision processes . ................................ . 36 2 3 Integrated Behavioral Model.Source: Montano, D. E., and Kasprzyk, D. (2015). Theory of reasoned ac tion, theory of planned behavior, and the integrated behavioral model. Health behavior: Theory, research and practice , 95 124. ................................ .... 38


10 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science UTILIZING PERSONAL A GENCY TO EXPLORE MAR KET MANAGER ENGAGEME NT WITH A FRESH FOOD AC CESS INITIATIV E IN FLORIDA By Cody Gusto May 2019 Chair: John Diaz Major: Agricultural Education and Communication Low resource individuals often struggle to access affordable fresh fruits and vegetables. Both urban and rural low access environments are typified by a lack of physically accessible resource communities in urban areas often face fresh fruit and vegetable access constraints due to racial and economic segr egation. Barriers to access for rural communities are more likely due to underdeveloped transportation infrastructure. In both cases, these food desert conditions are exemplified by affordability and physical access barriers. This phenomenon has significan t implications for nutrition and health outcomes within low resource communities. Obesity and other chronic, diet related diseases have precipitated a public health crisis, spurring innovative and practical solutions to improve fresh fruit and vegetable ac cess for low resource communities. One such initiative is the Florida based Fresh Access Bucks program. Fresh Access Bucks provides a dollar for dollar match to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program beneficiaries through their Electronic Benefits Trans fer card to redeem fresh, locally grown fruits access to fresh fruits and vegetables for low resource families while stimulating the local economy by supporting pu rchases from local farmers. While there is a growing body of evidence


11 that suggests a correlation between incentive programs designed to increase the purchasing power of low resource individuals and fresh fruit and vegetables consumption rates, most resear ch explores Supplemental Nutrition Assistance consumer engagement with these programs. At present, there little to no literature regarding market manager perspectives and experiences regarding program adoption and use. This project therefore explores mark perceptions of control and self efficacy in engaging with low resource consumers through the Fresh Access Bucks program. Specifically, this study utilizes the Integrated Behavioral Model to describe market manager characteristics of the person al agency construct within the model. Qualitative data was analyzed using the c onstant c omparative method to identify and explore pertinent themes related to this objective. Respondents participated in semi structured, one on one phone interviews ranging i n length from 35 to 80 minutes. All recorded interviews were transcribed and content analyzed. The findings from this study provide meaningful insights into how market managers perceive their ability to effectively administer and sustain a program designed to provide fresh food access to low resource communities.


12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Problem Statement Insufficient consumption of whole, nutritious foods is linked to increased risk of preventable conditions such as obesity, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Low nutrient diets can also greatly complicate cases of chronic diabetes (Hu, 2003). According to t he Center for Disease Control (CDC), cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke are all listed within the top ten leading causes of death in the United States. The top two leading causes of death, cancer and cardiovascular disease, spiked significantly fr om 2015 to 2016, suggesting a worsening trend in diet related public health outcomes (Heron, 2018). Evidence, however, indicates these negative outcomes are not evenly distributed across adult populations. This is demonstrated most explicitly by the varian ce in dietary quality along socio economic lines. While the period from 1999 to 2010 saw a modest net improvement of diet patterns in the U.S., gaps in dietary quality observed between high and low resource population segments widened significantly (Wang e t al., 2014). While race, ethnicity, sex, and education level are critical variables in understanding nutrition disparities at a broad level, income has been identified as having the strongest association with diet and nutrition disparities within a popula tion (Wang et al., 2014). Although there is more than one explanation for income related disparities in diet and nutrition, price is considered a core determinant (Bernstein, Bloom, Rosner, Franz, & Willett, 2010). Healthy foods, (referenced here as fresh fruits and vegetables, but also may include whole grains, nuts, seeds and lean meats) generally cost more at point of sale than unhealthy foods in the United States (Bernstein et al., 2010). Poor nutrition from infrequent fresh fruits and vegetables (FFV) consumption can, therefore, largely be characterized as an issue of economic


13 access. Both physical and economic access to FFV are increasingly recognized as an important variable in achieving and maintaining a healthy diet. Physical access to FFVs relates to the proximity between a low resource individual and a grocery store, or market. Economic access relates to the point of sale price of FFV products that inhibits many low resource individuals from improving diet and nutrition. The Supplemental Nutritio n Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, facilitated food subsidies for roughly 40 million low resource Americans in an average month in 2017 (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2018). While the program is instrumental in preventing or alleviating hunger for eligible individuals, it has been insufficient in addressing the income related disparities in dietary quality for low resource communities (Leung et al., 2013). One strategy to address this nutrition disparity is enco uraging low resource communities to utilize farmer s markets (FM; Kirkpatrick, 2012). Evidence, however, suggests that FMs are an under utilized retail outlet for SNAP registered, low resource individuals, representing only .02% of the total SNAP benefit r edemption amount nationally in 2017 (USDA FNS, 2017). These low usage rates have prompted initiatives to promote and expand SNAP access at FMs. Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant, incentive matching programs at FMs are promoted across the country. Federal funding provides financial support for state level programs to address barriers to access of nutrient dense, locally produced FFVs for low resource, SNAP recipients (National Inst itute of Food and Agriculture, n.d.). Fresh Access Bucks (FAB) is one such program operating statewide in Florida in conjunction with approximately 50 partner markets. The program is designed to incentivize SNAP recipients to redeem their benefits at parti cipating FMs


14 to purchase fresh, locally produced foods directly from Florida farmers. FAB facilitates a dollar to dollar match to what a SNAP beneficiary spends, allowing a SNAP holder to swipe their EBT card in exchange for FAB tokens. Tokens may be redee med for FFV that day at the market or saved for future use. While there is research on consumer engagement and perceptions of FM incentive programs, there is little research that explores market managers (MMs). The current study uses the Integrated Behavi or Model (IBM) to examine FM manager engagement with the FAB program (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). The IBM synthesizes two prior theoretical constructs designed to describe individual motivational factors that influence (positively or negatively) the likelih ood an individual will perform a specific behavior. According to Montano and Kasprzyk, a behavior is most likely to occur if a person has a strong behavioral intention, the knowledge and skill to carry out the behavior and the absence of serious environmen tal barriers preventing performance (2015). The IBM, like the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA; Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB; Ajzen, 1991), recognizes behavioral intention as the most important determinant in whether a beha vior will be performed (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). The framework is relevant because it highlights and clarifies determinants of behavioral intention to sustain programs for low resource populations within an understudied population. The personal agency (P of self efficacy and perceived control in effectively administering the FAB program to reach low resource audiences. Purpose The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore how FM manage rs perceive their own agency to effectively access and engage low resource SNAP audiences. Specifically, this study examines how FM managers identify and interpret barriers to effectively administer


15 and market the FAB nutrition incentive program to SNAP sh oppers. Market managers (MM) enter into formal contracts with FAB, committing to oversee the day to day operations like staff and vendor training, record keeping, outreach, promotion and the leveraging of grant funds to maximize impact for the market. Thi s logistical environment was investigated through the lens of MM control beliefs (perceived control) and efficacy beliefs (self efficacy) within the IBM (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). These constructs are jointly referred to as PA within the IBM. Perceived co ntrol refers to behavior easy or difficult (i.e.: perceived control over behavioral performance). Self efficacy is the degree of confidence one has in their own abili ty to perform a behavior given perceptions of difficulty from environmental obstacles or external constraints (Bandura, 2006). Fourteen semi structured, one on one phone interviews were conducted with former/current MMs of FAB adopting FMs in Florida. The ir perceptions of control, efficacy and agency in accessing low resource populations through the FAB program may have implications for the programming and evaluation efforts of similar nutrition incentive initiatives at FMs. This study is relevant for rese archers that are interested in operationalizing behavioral change and motivation theories within food insecurity contexts. Rationale Most available literature on FMs and food access for low resource communities are driven by consumer experiences and perceptions with the SNAP program. Robbins, Ettinger, Keefe, Riley and Surkan (2017) positioned their analysis of low use of SNAP through phenomenological, in depth qualitative interviews and focus groups, referencing common participant experiences to recommend the additional integration of electronic services to policy makers. Researchers have used incentives and disinc entives to explore the barriers to


16 patronizing FMs for marginalized, low resource individuals (Conner, Colasanti, Ross & Smalley, 2010; Dimitri, Oberholtzer, Zive & Sandolo, 2015; Grace, Grace, Becker, & Lyden, 2008). In their study, Conner et al. (2010), found salient distinctions in how local food marketing efforts were perceived by different ethnic groups in Michigan. Dimitri et al. (2015) found that nutrition incentive interventions may be an attractive policy approach for consumer segments that have hi gher opinion values for fresh and locally produced foods. Grace et al. (2008) utilized focus groups of low resource shoppers in Portland, Oregon to conclude that a localized nutrition federal benefits at FMs. resource communities. Larsen and Gilliland (2009) examined the impact of a new FM on the price and availability of healthy food in a food desert, employing a before and after frame with spatial dataset mapping. The researchers concluded that the introduction of a FM in a food desert affected neighborhood increased the availability of healthy food and lowered the overall food costs for households in the area ( Larsen & Gil liland , 2009) . Exploring FFV intake barriers, consumer perceptions of FMs and localized price impacts of markets is a necessary, but not sufficient condition in understanding institutionalized nutritional disparities. To date, the body of literature relating to FM promot ion for low resource and SNAP eligible communities has largely excluded the role of FM managers. There are a few examples that lend guidance for this and future research. Hasin and Smith (2018) recently engaged this population in a survey based study that applied the Diffusion of Innovation Theory, finding that institutional collaboration positively influenced the likelihood that MMs would adopt EBT at FMs. Roubal, Morales, Timberlake and Martinez Donate (2016) applied a qualitative lens to explore EBT impl ementation at FMs for MMs, finding personal motivations,


17 explicit market mission statements and streamlining reimbursement procedures to all be salient facilitating variables for managers. Both studies recommended a continued focus on this population to im prove policy and SNAP redemption outcomes. This study similarly attempts to emphasize MMs as an understudied population segment and recognize them as critical actors in the broader effort to provide affordable FFV access to low resource communities. This s tudy is unique in that it applies a behavioral change framework at their markets. Significance The failure to consider access to nutritious food in an integrated way may lead to piecemeal solutions, programmatic breakdown and contribute to unequal nutritional access opportunities among populations (McCormack, Laska, Larson & Story 2010). Current research addresses the intersection of FMs and nutritional access disp arities from important perspectives but has largely omitted the views of MMs as key program facilitators and administrators. Where manager attitudes and beliefs have been explored, researchers have recommended continued evaluation from a qualitative perspe ctive (Hasin & Smith, 2018; Roubal et al., 2016). This study is significant because it applies an emergent qualitative design to offer a broader assessment of agency and efficacy within an understudied population. Describing MM perceptions of barriers to engaging low resource SNAP shoppers may help to identify critical opportunities for improved market access and nutritious FFV intake. Applying the IBM to explain MMs attitudes and beliefs adds value by highlighting perceived motivations and frustrations to person has a strong intention to perform it and the knowledge and skill to do so, and (2) there is


18 Montano & K asprzyk, 2015, p. 78). Ultimately, this study may have implications in addressing a very practical access disparity. A USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) report from fiscal year 2017 shows that FMs make up 1.38% of nationally authorized SNAP retailers, but only represent .02% of the total SNAP benefit redemption amount (USDA FNS, 2017). This indicates a performance gap of SNAP consumer engagement from the FM perspective and points to the potential for increased access and use of FMs as an outlet for FFV consumption. This finding has been examined in empirical contexts but should be pursued qualitatively to complement useful conclusions and recommendations. MMs are critical stakeholders in nutrition incentive and FFV promotion initiatives across the countr y. Continued exploration of MM attitudes, beliefs and motivations as administrators of programs like FAB could help program designers effectively resolve their concerns while improving broader program outcomes. Key Terms Defined Electronic Benefits Transfe r (EBT) . An electronic system that allows a SNAP recipient to authorize transfer of their government benefits to a retailer account to pay for products/goods received (USDA Food & Nutrition Service, n.d.). D irect to Consumer Markets (DTC). Outlets where pr oducers sell their products to end use consumers. May refer to Community Support Agriculture programs, online marketplaces or (USDA AMS, n.d.). Fresh Access Bucks (FAB). A nutrition incentive program designed to make locally grown fresh fr uits and vegetables accessible to SNAP recipients by providing a dollar for dollar match for benefits redeemed (Florida Organic Growers, n.d.).


19 A fixed location space where grower producers can sell their agricultural products directl y to the general public ( USDA FNS, n.d.). Fr esh Fruits and Vegetables (FFV). Includes all perishable produce in fresh form. Does not include those perishable produce items which have been processed into articles of food of a different kind or character (canned, frozen, dried, juiced, etc.) (USDA FNS, 2010). Florida Organic Growers (FOG). A 501 (c) (3) non profit corporation overseeing the administration of the Fresh Access Bucks program during the time this study was conducted. Food Insecure: A condition of limited, uncertain or inconsistent access to nutritionally adequate and safe foods (USDA FNS, 2013). I ntegrative Behavior Model (IBM). A combination of two theories: The Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB). The IBM synthesizes the constructs within each of these theories to describe variables and cond itions as determinants of Low Resource. Offered as a special designation within the food access context. Refers to individuals/communities that are low income, but additionally lack cons istent access to critical infrastructure and/or resources. Lack of transportation and health care access, for example, exacerbates food insecurity within low resource populations (Ver Ploeg, 2010). Market Manager (MM). Farmers' market managers oversee ven dors, products and staff at fixed location markets. While responsibilities may vary depending on market structure, primary duties include scheduling and tracking vendor participation, collecting participation dues/fees, tracking inventory sales, and recrui ting and supervising market personnel (USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, n.d.).


20 Perceived Control: An individual's perception of the control performing the particular behavior given environmental constraints (Ajzen, 1988). Personal Agency (PA): Refers t o individual's capacity to originate and direct actions for 2015). Self Efficacy: The degree of confidence that one can achieve the situation specific behavior required to execute a given outcome (Glanz, Rimer, & Viswanath, 2008). Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): Formerly known as the Federal Food Stamps Progr am. A program designed to provide economic assistance to low income/low resource individuals and families ( Nguyen, Shuval, Njike, & Katz, 2014). Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB): An evolution of the Theory of Reasoned Action as behavioral motivation model. Asserts that attitude toward behavior, subjective norms and perceived behavioral control together shape an individual's behavioral intentions and behaviors (Ajzen, 1991). Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA): Designed to understand an individual's behavior by exploring underlying basic motivations to perform a given action. Proposed internal beliefs and Ellen, & Ajzen, 1992). Assumptions One of the main underlying assumptions in this study is that the sample of MMs selected through purposive and snowball identification efforts appropriately meet inclusion criteria and are therefore qualified to describe determinants of a behavioral intention to engage with low resource individuals at their market. There is a basic assumption here that participant response


21 will be provided with a level of detail, awareness and thick descriptive confidence. There is also an assumption that answers will be provided in a sincere and honest way, without intent to withhold from or mislead the interviewer. Limitations This case study was limited to MMs currently participating in the FAB p rogram in Florida. As such, the findings, conclusions and recommendations gleaned apply only to those interviewed. Nutrition incentive programs in states around the country have distinct structures and operational mandates. The researcher believes that the specific structure and functionality of FAB in Florida has the potential to limit the transferability of findings to other, related, matching programs. Chapter Summary This chapter introduced the issue of insufficient access to FFVs for low resource comm unities in the United States, demonstrating how low consumption of nutritionally adequate FFVs increase the risk of adverse health conditions like obesity , heart disease, stroke and cancer. These risks may be higher for low resource communities, as gaps in dietary quality have been observed between high and low resource population segments (Wang et al., 2014). Both physical access (the proximity between a low resource individual and a grocery store, or market) and economic access (price related barriers to acquiring FFVs) are recognized as important variables in achieving and maintaining a healthy diet. To address price barriers for low resource, SNAP utilizing populations, nutrition incentive initiatives have emerged. Nutrition incentive programs have been applied around the country to increase FFV consumption for low resource shoppers. In Florida, FAB program provides a dollar for dollar match for SNAP recipients to purchase locally grown FFVs at partnered markets.


22 The purpose of this qualitative case stu dy was to explore how FM managers identify and interpret barriers to effectively administer and market the FAB nutrition incentive program to SNAP shoppers. Through these factors, the study explored how FM managers perceive their own agency to effectively access and engage low resource SNAP audiences. The researcher applied the PA construct within the IBM to highlight the perceived motivations and hindrances that . This study may have tangible appli cations for MMs as an understudied population and may have practical implications in addressing a broader access disparity. Chapter 2 reviews salient research on food access inequalities, diet and public health consequences, FFV consumption impact on nut rition, access barriers to markets, consumer and manager perceptions and nutrition incentive programs. The IBM is also explored as the key theoretical framework applied in this study.


23 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Policy, Poverty and Food Access Food a ccess disparities in the United States are not a new phenomenon. Unequal access to fresh, high quality, nutrient dense foods has persisted over time, driven by key determining factors such as race, ethnicity, education level and income status (Ver Ploeg, 2 010). Evidence also supports the assertion that access disparities are partially attributable to structural failings within an industrial food production and distribution system. According to Albritton (2009), an industrial model incentivizing short term p rofits for concentrated food manufacturers, processors and distributors often disperses access benefits for small scale farmers, food workers and low resource individuals. Recurrent federal subsidies for corn, soybean and other commodity crops may exert an influence as well. These assertions are perhaps best supported by food waste statistics in the United States. A 2012 study estimated as much as 40% of edible food eligible for human consumption was lost or wasted in the United States (Gunders, 2012). A s ignificant percentage of these losses are in the production sector, attributed to substantial volumes of fruits and vegetables not harvested from fields. A 2017 annual production report indicated a roughly 5% loss from total acreage planted to total acreag e harvested (USDA NASS, 2018). These structural issues of waste and loss create a striking backdrop when discussing food insecurity and access. Lee, Sonmez, Gomez and Fan (2017) positioned the concurrent existence of mass food waste and endemic food insecu rity (a state of low or infrequent food access) within the United States as paradoxical and deserving of continued research. Independent of agricultural policy, structural poverty and income inequality exert an immense influence on food insecurity and nut ritional access disparities. While median household


24 income rates have improved over the past 3 years (US Census Bureau, 2018), the 2017 GINI Index (an internationally recognized statistical measure of income inequality and wealth distribution) was at the h ighest point over a 40 year period in the United States (World Bank, 2017). Despite being one of the highest income producing nations in the world with a Gross National Income of 19.6 trillion dollars (World Bank, 2017), approximately 40 million people in the U.S. experienced poverty (the lack of resources necessary for material well being) in 2017 (US Census Bureau, 2018). While not all people living below the poverty line experience food insecurity (insecurity can be caused by a lack of other resources be yond income), the two are closely linked. In 2017, a similarly estimated 40 million Americans, including more than 12 million children, were categorized as food insecure ( Coleman Jensen, Rabbitt, Gregory & Singh, 2018). From 2000 to 2014, low security and low access households grew by nearly 33% (Elmes, 2016). Rapid increases in food insecurity have intensified demands on food banks, soup kitchens, and emergency food assistance outlets such as SNAP (Elmes, 2016). Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Formerly known as the Federal Food Stamps Program, SNAP is the largest domestic food and nutrition assistance program for low resource Americans (USDA ERS, 2017). With over 40 million participating individuals and over 20 million participating households, SNAP can be viewed as a critical service in preventing hunger and alleviating food insecurity for millions (USDA FNS, 2018). There is evidence to suggest, however, that the program may be underwhelming in its capacity to improve access to nutritionally adequate foo ds. Noting the high rates of obesity and chronic diet related diseases within low income populations, DeBono, Ross, and Berrang Ford (2012) suggest that sustained use of the SNAP program positively correlates with obesity rates. SNAP participant segments h ave also been found to have lower dietary quality than their non SNAP, income eligible counterpart in a review of nationally representative


25 data (Nguyen, Shuval, Njike & Katz, 2014). A similar income controlled comparison between SNAP and non SNAP consumer s found SNAP participants had lower nutritional intake rates (Leung et al., 2012). To date, the mechanisms linking these findings are not well understood. Some researchers suggest higher intake of low and non nutrient food items are influential (Drewnowski & Darmon, 2005). Since only hot foods, alcohol, tobacco, and non food items, like paper towels and soap, are exempt from SNAP eligibility, purchase allowances include soda, energy drinks, candy, cookies, cakes and ice cream (USDA FNS, n.d.). Despite incre ased efforts to regulate these low nutrition foods, their low cost makes them more accessible to low resource, SNAP participant shoppers. Nutrient rich FFVs, whole grains and proteinaceous foods like fish tend to be more expensive at point of sale. To maxi mize an already constrained budget, low income SNAP participants are more likely to purchase low cost, low nutrient foods (Leung, et al., 2012). This sustained consumption of products high in added fat and sugars, including enriched grains, sugar sweetened beverages, and processed meats affects poor dietary outcomes for SNAP participants and low resource communities broadly. Diet, Nutrition and Health Consequences Diet and nutrition are critical determinants of health in the United States. While high nutrition diet recommendations include grains, nuts, seeds and protein meats, consistent consumption of FFV frequently serve as a litmus for positive health outcomes. A ccording to He, Nowson and MacGregor (2006) , increased consumption of FFVs are associated with a reduced incidence of stroke in most epidemiological studies . Hu (2003) similarly found that increased FFV consumption can have a positive, protective effect in significantly reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. While the empirical extent of these associations is still being examined, the principal influence of FFV intake has a strong biological basis (He et al., 2006). Fruit and vegetables are high in po


26 beta being explored, these dietary compounds (particularly potassium) have been shown to have an i nhibitory effect on blood pressure, a core determinant of stroke risk (He et al., 2006). Daily intake of FFVs demonstrate positive potential to reduce risk for a broad range of non communicable chronic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, hyperten sion, coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease asthma, osteoporosis, eye diseases, and dementia (Boeing et al., 2012). Official nutrition and dietary guidelines in the United States reflect the pos most FFVs as fiber/vitamin rich, cholesterol free and naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories (USDA, 2016). While the consequences of low access to high nutr ient FFVs on health are well documented, the inverse impacts of high access to low nutrition foods are equally compelling. According to Laraia (2013) , the instance frequency and severity of obesity, heart disease, stroke, cancer and chronic diabetes associ ate with low FFV/low nutrition diets caused by conditions of food insecurity. Given its catalyzing effect on heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and other health conditions, obesity is an illustrative adverse health outcome (Boeing et al., 2012). Accor ding to the CDC, obesity alone affected 93.3 million U.S. adults between 2015 and 2016 ( Hales, Carroll, Fryar & Ogden, 2017). While genetic and behavioral factors like physical exercise are considerable contributors to obesity rates, low FFV intake and hig h access to low nutrient foods exert a key influence on the process (Calder et al., 2011). Consequences go beyond chronic health effects. The direct and indirect costs of obesity and its associated effects have a significant economic impact on the U.S. hea lth care system (Hammond & Levine, 2010). Aggregated costs have been estimated to cost the U.S. upwards of $215 billion dollars annually


27 (Hammond & Levine, 2010). When considering the combined health and economic impacts of all other diet related chronic d iseases, the consequences for poor diet/low FFV consumption in the U.S. and abroad are colossal. To address the magnitude of the issue, organizations are investing in comprehensive, interdisciplinary strategies. DTC Markets Strategies to Improve Low Nutri tional Access Recognizing the dynamic conditions that create or maintain nutritional access disparities between populations is critical to understanding food insecurity (Ver Ploeg, 2010). The FFV and nutritional access issues that plague low resource commu nities have proximate and distal roots and can be different in urban or rural environments. In a summary examination of food dessert conditions in the U.S., Ver Ploeg (2010) identifies a series of material barriers that inhibit adequate access to nutrient dense foods for low resource communities. Physical access barriers (i.e., proximity to consistent food supply) and price access barriers (i.e., generally higher costs of FFVs at point of sale) are key factors that drive strategic policy responses (Freedman et al, 2016). While access issues in urban cores are often characterized by racial segregation and concentrated income inequality, rural environments suffer from weak transportation infrastructure and fewer food retail suppliers (Ver Ploeg 2010). Distinct barrier conditions give rise to context appropriate solutions, and a host of strategies to address FFV access disparities have been applied at the community and institutional level ( McCullum, Desjardins, Kraak, Ladipo & Costello, 2005). Promotion Program (FMPP) is the most prominent grant program to directly address the access gap. The program awards competitive grants designed to expand opportunity and acces s to locally produced agricultural products to a broader consumer market (USDA AMS, 2016). These outlets include roadsides stands, U Pick farms, Community Supported Agriculture programs and


28 FMs. In conjunction with federal food assistance operations like S NAP, the Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) program, Meals on Wheels and the Summer Food Service (SFS) program, direct to consumer (DTC) markets have been increasingly employed as a platform to improve FFV access to low resource communities (USDA AMS, 2016) . From 1994 to 2016, the number of markets listed in the USDA National Farmers Market Directory increased by nearly 400 percent to over 8,600 markets. The value of local food purchased from direct to consumer (DTC) markets likewise doubled between 1992 and 2012 (USDA AMS, 2016). The 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey found DTC market outlets generated $3 billion in sales, with on farm stores and FMs accounting for $2 billion, or 67 percent (USDA NASS, 2015). Barriers to Improving Access While there has been steady growth in the DTC sector over the past decade, evidence is not yet conclusive that these expanded sales outlets have made a substantial impact in closing the FFV and nutritional access gap for SNAP eligible, low resource communities (McCorm ack et al., 2010). In the case of FMs, there are also signs that local FFV sales are beginning to plateau as small to mid scale farmers seek to move their product through food hub networks, distributors and other intermediated channels (USDA ERS, 2015). In dependent of national trends in demand, specific barriers to expanding FFV access through FMs persist for low resource populations (Freedman et al., 2016). These barriers can be perceptional (attitudes and beliefs) or material (physical proximity and produ ct price challenges). Challenges for low resource shoppers include lif Researchers have identified physical access barriers as influential. Wood and Horner (2016) u sed spatial analysis techniques to gauge transportation accessibility to FMs and other FFV outle ts, suggesting that communities


29 that are low resource are significantly less likely to experience adequate access to nutritious foods (Wood & Horner, 2016). Rigby et al. (2012) si milarly used census tract data to examine whether neighborhood characteristic s related to race, income and rurality affected SNAP distribution accessibility , finding that neighborhood characteristics significantly predicted SNAP eligible food access disparities . While these physical/logistical barriers are salient, the impact of price and point of sale expense for low resource shoppers has demanded significant attention (Larsen & Gilliland, 2009). Price Barriers Programs like the FMPP have invested in DTC outlet s like FMs as environment based interventions to improve FFV access for low resource shoppers (Freedman et al., 2016). There is evidence to suggest this strategy has been moderately successful. Wheelerand Chapman Novakofski (2014) determined that despite h igher costs than nearby retailers, FMs facilitated higher FFV intake rates for low Food Acquisition and Purchase Survey determined higher levels of FFV associated spending at DTC outlets like FMs (USDA ERS, 2015). The introduction of a FM demonstrated a major downward pressure on localized food prices in a case study review, enabling increased access to FFVs for community residents (Larsen & Gilliland, 2009). A review of economic factors that facil itated or inhibited FM use by low resource shoppers determined that the acceptance of food assistance benefits like SNAP at markets was a critical facilitator (Freedman et al., 2016). Evidence that the presence of FMs in a community improves economic acce ss to nutrient dense FFVs is not conclusive. Savoie Roskos, Wengreen, Gast, LeBlanc and Durward (2017) determined that despite efforts to increase accepted use of benefits like SNAP and WIC, approximately 0.01% of total SNAP benefits were redeemed at FMs i n 2012 and that the majority of SNAP benefits were redeemed at grocery stores and supermarkets. The researchers


30 concluded point of sale cost for items was the most commonly cited barrier to FFV consumption for participants in their study. In qualitative ca se study examinations, price was determined to be the most important factor in facilitating or inhibiting the willingness of low resource participants to shop at FMs (Darko, Eggett & Richards, 2013; McGuirt et al., 2014). To reduce price barriers for low r esource SNAP shoppers, nutrition incentive programs have emerged as a salient strategy. Nutrition Incentive Programs Nutrition incentives are increasingly considered a promising policy intervention to increase FFV consumption among low resource populatio ns (Dimitri et al., 2015). These programs have been specifically targeted at FMs and other DTC outlets around the country, designed to encourage the redemption of federal assistance benefits like SNAP for locally grown FFVs. Different mechanisms to incenti vize this use have been employed ( Savoie Roskos et al., 2017). The Food Insecurity and Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant program has, for example, funded a variety of nutrition incentive programs intended to provide a dollar for dollar match of SNAP benefit s toward the purchase of FFVs ( Savoie Roskos et al., 2017). To date, there have been several investigations into the efficacy and impact of nutrition incentive programs. Olsho et al. (2015) found a positive effect of the Health Bucks incentive program on FM awareness and use rates in a case study examination of low income New York City neighborhoods. Dimitri et al. (2015), exploring the impact of incentive vouchers on FFV consumption rates, found low resource participants most likely to show an uptick in vegetable consumption after voucher distribution. Bowling, Moretti, Ringelheim, Tran and Davison, ( 201 6) found that financial incentives leveraged to subsidize FFV point of sale cost can be effective in assisting low resource individuals improve consumptio n rates. Researchers have also used a pretest posttest design to measure FFV intake before and after nutritional incentives were


31 applied, finding a positive effect of incentive matching on FFV intake (Savoie Roskos, Durward, Jeweks & LeBlanc, 2016). While Oberholtzer, Dimitri, and Schumacher ( 2016) have concluded financial incentive efforts improv ed through a systematic review of FM sales data and vidence of sustained impact of these programs has not yet been established and should be evaluated (Savoie Roskos et al., 2016). Additionally, there is little research on the logistical challenges of implementing and administering the programs to maximize impact. There is broad consensus, however, th at the implementation of nutrition incentive programs at FMs is a promising intervention strategy to address food insecurity and nutritional disparities between populations (Dimitri et al., 2015; Savoie Roskos et al., 2016; Olsho et al., 2015). Increasingl y, federal grants provide financial support for state level organizations to administer nutrition incentive programs at a more localized level (National Institute of Food and Agriculture, n.d). FAB is one such program designed to address barriers to access of nutrient dense, locally produced FFVs for low resource, SNAP recipients in Florida. Fresh Access Bucks FAB is a Florida statewide program designed to incentivize SNAP shoppers to redeem their benefits at participating FMs to purchase fresh, locally pr oduced foods directly from Florida farmers ( Florida Organic Growers, n.d.). The program provides a dollar to dollar match to what a SNAP beneficiary redeems, allowing them to swipe their EBT card in exchange for FAB tokens. These tokens can be redeemed for locally grown FFVs to be used immediately or financial support for state level administrators/organizations to address barriers to access of nutrient dense, loc ally produced fruits and vegetables for low resource, SNAP recipients (National Institute of Food and Agriculture, n.d). As chief administrators of FAB, FOG has


32 compiled and maintained evaluation data to monitor and assess program impact. data trac , w eb or phone based dietary surveys, multi site randomized controlled trials with individual level random assignment, and site variation analyzation (Wholesome Wave, 2017). The current study is positioned to explore barriers to program success through a qualitati ve lens. To reflect the need Savoie Roskos et al., 2016, p. 74) research on consumer/manager experiences, perceptions and attitudes are considered. SNAP Consumer Perceptions t owards FM Incentives Most available literature on the topics of FMs, federal assistance benefits and nutrition incentive program use are focused on consumer experiences and perceptions. Savoie Roskos et al. (2017), citing sufficient research attention to general FM access barr iers for low resource, SNAP eligible shoppers, focused specifically on the influence and impact that incentive interventions carry. Interviews revealed shoppers viewed the introduction of FFV purchase incentives favorably. They were cited as a key facilita tor that would motivate continued patronage of the market, despite the continued prevalence of transportation and other access barriers (Savoie Roskos et al., 2017). Participants discussed existing barriers even with the incentive treatment, indicating tha t SNAP benefits often do not last the entire month, making it challenging to utilize incentive matching late in the month. While participants still faced budget restraints for FFV purchasing, the incentive allotment allowed opportunities to choose more var iety at the market that were previously unavailable (Savoie Roskos et al., 2017). Amaro and Roberts (2017) similarly presented a case study evaluation of a dollar for dollar match program, surveying low resource parents of young children to identify recomm endations to improve program logistics and delivery. While parents reported a positive perception of FMs overall (citing product diversity, healthy options, opportunity to spend family time together) many


33 identified price barriers as an issue. Only 36% of parents indicated they strongly agreed that they could afford to buy fresh fruits and vegetables previously and that the incentive matching intervention was useful ( Amaro & Roberts, 2017). While incentive matching demonstrates impact in addressing acute pr ice barriers, respondents broadly acknowledge its limitations in addressing late month benefit shortages, transportation issues and inconvenient market hours (Freedman et al., 2016). As the target population, understanding consumer perspectives is critical to achieving and sustaining the goals of the FAB program. Equally important to improve program impact and use, however, are the perspectives of MMs as program facilitators and administrators. Manager Perceptions t owards FM Incentives FM managers are criti cal facilitators of the FAB program in Florida and DTC market based nutrition incentive campaigns across the country (Freedman et al., 2016). FAB partnered FAB p rogram. These include local grower recruitment and retention, targeted marketing toward low resource/SNAP eligible communities, equipment purchases and maintenance, staff training and facilitating nutrition education (Florida Organic Growers, n.d.) Given t heir key role in implementing and sustaining SNAP/EBT access for low resource communities, MMs are a critically understudied population. Past examinations of MM perceptions, attitudes and beliefs focus on their views of providing SNAP/EBT access at markets . Roubal et al. (2016) described barriers and facilitators for implementing EBT access, including training, advertising, community support and personal motivation. The cost of paperwork, fees and the time required for operational logistics like equipment m aintenance, vendor reimbursements and staff training were all cited by managers as barriers to effectively implementing and sustaining the EBT program ( Roubal et al., 2016). MM motivations were also examined to understand factors that


34 may facilitate increa sed SNAP/EBT adoption at FMs. Survey results indicated business vitality (increasing economic productivity at the market) was the main motivator that increased adoption interest ( Ward, Slawson, Wu & Jilcott Pitts, 2015). Internal motivation and concern abo ut food access and security was moderately influential as a facilitating factor for MMs (Ward et al., 2015). Although these studies address MMs as an understudied population of interest, SNAP/EBT engagement is a different outcome behavior than incentive p rogram adoption and maintenance. There are very few examinations of MM perception of nutrition incentive program engagement for SNAP clientele. Payne et al. (2013) demonstrated that FM managers were generally favorable to the introduction of the Health Buc ks nutrition incentive program in New York City. Results indicated positive attitudes towards engagement with low resource clientele to expand market growth. The logistics of jointly introducing and maintaining SNAP/EBT and Health Bucks incentives were lar success (Payne et al., 2013). The current study addresses the gap in documenting MM perceptions, attitudes and beliefs about nutrition incentive programs by examining engagement with the FAB progra m in Florida. To effectively identify and characterize motivational factors, barriers and facilitators, the IBM has been applied. Evolution of the IBM The IBM emerged from the historical development and synthesis of social psychology, persuasion models a nd attitudinal/behavioral theories (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). The IBM is largely a fusion of two preceding theories, predominately applied in behavioral health contexts: The Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) and the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB; Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). Developed by Icek Ajzen and Martin Fishbein, the TRA attempted to describe the relationship between human attitudes and behaviors (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1975). Specifically,


35 hoosing to quit smoking) by identifying the underlying motivations and attitudes towards the behavior (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). The TRA additionally states that a person's intention to perform a given behavior is the main predictor of whether they actually perform that behavior (Glanz et al., 2008). Behavioral and the subjective norms (social/external motivations or pressures for behavior compliance; Fishbein & Aj zen, 1975). Figure 2 1. Theory of Reasoned Action.Source: Fishbein, M., and Ajzen, I. (1975). Belief, attitude, intention and behavior: An introduction to theory and research. While extremely influential, the TRA was subject to critiques and observed limitations, most notably from Ajzen himself (Ajzen, 1991). As behavioral intention is considered the most influential determinant of a behavioral outcome, the theory largely assume s intent is driven by conditions of high volitional control. This assumption largely deemphasizes conditions of uncertainty that may likewise influence intentions and outcomes (Madden et al., 1992). To address low volition variables that can affect inten tion and behavior, Ajzen included Perceived Behavioral Control (PBC) as an additional construct to create the TPB (Ajzen, 1991). While the TPB similarly states that performing a behavior is contingent upon behavioral intent, rception of control (or perceived ability to effectively perform a


36 behavior) is an equally influential determinant of behavioral performance (Madden et al., 1992). rd the outcome of the behavior) and normative beliefs (subjective norms influencing the subject to consider what other people think the person should do or general social pressure). Figure 2 2 . Theory of Planned Behavior.Source: Ajzen, I. (1991). The th eory of planned behavior. Organizational behavior and human decision processes . PBC (a function of control beliefs) is the final determinant of intention and behavioral bility to effectively perform a behavior, the inclusion of PBC has improved the utility and the model, PBC can positively and independently influence the likelihood of a behavior if an


37 individual believes that an individual has the capability to perform the behavior (Madden et al., 1992). Within both the TRA and the TPB, intention is considered a major variable in predicting behavior change (Madden et al., 1992). Where the TRA signified that behaviors are certainty, the TPB acknowledges other conditions that may influence intention and performance (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). Ul timately, the inclusion of perceived control means that behavior is jointly determined by personal motivation (intention) and ability (perceived control). Both beli efs to behavioral intentions and behaviors via attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived improved the predictive applicability and utility over the previous TRA mod el, it too was subject to limitations (Ajzen, 1989). The reliance on model constructs that describe cognitive processing has been argued to limit the salience of external factors, such as conditions of habit and environment (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). This and other, related recognitions prompted the development of the IBM. In addition to the constructs and behavior intention determinants featured within the TRA and TPB , the IBM posits that there are four factors that may transcend intention, and that dire ctly affect whether a behavior is carried out. These four factors are: (a) knowledge and skills to perform the behavior, (b) salience of the behavior, (c) environmental constraints, and (d) habit (Glanz et al., 2008).


38 Figure 2 3. Integrated Behavioral M odel.Source: Montano, D. E., and Kasprzyk, D. (2015). Theory of reasoned action, theory of planned behavior, and the integrated behavioral model. Health behavior: Theory, research and practice , 95 124. The inclusion of these components distinguishes the IB M from preceding theories and are critical to designing or promoting behavior change interventions in any sector (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). Studies have recognized that these external conditions can leapfrog predicative behavioral performance modeling tha t is exclusively channeled through intention or motivation (Becker, 1974; Triandis, 1980). For example, salience (whether the behavior is important/freshly relevant to an individual) can disrupt the performance of a behavior if a long interval of time has Kasprzyk, 2015). Similarly, there may be cases where an individual has a high intention or motivation, but lack the knowledge, skills or resources to perform the beha vior. The lack of


39 transportation, for example, may prevent an individual going to the hospital to carry out a health screening despite a substantial desire to do so (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). As shown in Figure 2 3, the causal process that links attitudes , norms and agency to intention is still the focal point. Like the TRA and the TPB, the IBM maintains that intention is still the primary determinant of behavior. Without strong motivational intent, an individual is much less likely to carry out a behavior (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). While intention is jointly determined by attitude, perceived norms, and PA (self efficacy/perceived control), the PA construct is applied principally in this study as a tool to analyze the environmental facilitators or barriers 2015). IBM in Context The IBM is predominately applied in public health contexts as a tool to understand and predict behaviors that affect social, mental and bio physical wellbeing (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). As a recently developed successor to preceding theories such as the T RA and TPB, the IBM is not yet diffuse in the research literature at large. Bhochhibhoya and Branscum (2018) performed a systematic review to assess the effectiveness of both the TPB and the IBM in predicting alcohol behaviors. The researchers reviewed 11 articles that met inclusion criteria and found that only two had exclusively utilized the IBM as predictive framework. While concluding the IBM was not yet diffuse broadly and under utilized in alcohol related behavior examinations, the researchers found i t displayed a promising predictive capacity in terms of alcohol related intention and behavior. Specifically, the authors found that three constructs within the IBM attitudes, perceived norms and self efficacy were the strongest predictors of high risk d rinking behaviors such as binge drinking and drinking and driving (Bhochhibhoya & Branscum, 2018). The researchers recommend increased application of the IBM, arguing its holistic nature and


40 further development of attitude and self efficacy constructs coul d be useful in future alcohol related studies and interventions (Bhochhibhoya & Branscum, 2018). Branscum and Bhochhibhoya also applied the IBM in the context of physical activity among elementary children (2016). The researchers operationalized the IBM t o predict whether gender differences between elementary children affected their intention to perform physical activity and whether they ultimately performed physical activity given environmental constraints (Branscum & Bhochhibhoya, 2016). Through multiple regression analysis, the researchers determined that attitudes, perceived norms and PA constructs within IBM were very useful in predicting an intention to perform physical activity between both boys (70.4%) and girls (47.8%). While these constructs deli vered a strong prediction for intention, the authors additionally concluded that intention and an external variable parental environment, strongly predicted physical activity behaviors for both boys and girls with little variability between the samples. of the IBM (Branscum & Bhochhibhoya, 2016, p. 238). The researchers, noting the emergence of the IBM, also identified limitations of their study, namely that certain constructs in the model seemed to demonstrate a better predictive capacity for boys rather than girls. They suggest that future researchers should consider the creation and testing of additional predictor constructs within the IBM to allow the framework to be more flexible and useful (Branscum & Bhochhibhoya, 2016). The IBM has been used to explore risky road behavior in Vietnam (Trinh & Vo, 2016). The researchers tested the predictive power of the model to better understand three distinct risky driving beh aviors: driving after drinking alcohol, changing lanes illegally and speeding. Results indicated that the IBM was broadly successful in predicting all three risky behaviors, with


41 driving after drinking demonstrating the highest predictive influence across several construct variables measuring attitudes, norms, perceived control, etc. (Trinh & Vo, 2016). The authors conclude that policy makers should consider the utility of IBM and other integrative frameworks to design and implement targeted policy interven tions to reduce risky driving incidence and road fatalities (Trinh & Vo, 2016). Application of the IBM primarily seeks to guide identification and understanding of factors that influence behavioral intention and performance. Furthermore, the IBM provides a basis for evaluating behavioral outcomes according to the construct variables identified (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). Each of the studies referenced apply the model to measure some combination of attitudinal variables (behavioral, normative, efficacy and control beliefs) and environmental variables (external constraints, individual habit, available resources) in distinct behavioral contexts. While employment of the IBM is not yet widespread, early applications have generally demonstrated a high degree of u tility in measuring and predicting behaviors to assist the development of more targeted and effective behavioral intervention strategies. Prior to developing and operationalizing IBM variable constructs for empirical research or applied intervention camp aigns, it is highly recommended to first perform in depth, open ended elicitation interviews to identify variable constructs (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). behavioral outcom es, normative referents, and barriers and facilitators that are relevant to the current study is also positioned as a formative elicitation effort. Inquiry here is focused on MM PA variables, identified as a relevant object of study through open ended engagement with participants. Respondents identified perceptional and material barriers that most appropriately


42 related to the PA construct and its self efficacy an d perceived control determinants. Elicitation data collected here can help to build PA variable constructs for an empirical application of the IBM framework to test variable generalizability. Personal Agency: Relevance to Research The PA construct within the IBM was chosen as the leveraging focus for FAB adopting influence over self functioning and environmental events and consists of two constructs self e efficacy in behavioral psychology (Bandura, 1977). Bandura used the efficacy construct in a variety of behavioral co ntexts to understand how perform a behavior effectively (Bandura, 1990). positioned within the IBM. A distinction is efficacy, or of various obstacles distinct stages of cognitive processing and awareness. In short, perceived control examines external perceptions difficulty while self effic acy examines internalized perceptions of ability given external factors. When investigating perceptions of behavior or intention, an individual may first identify external, environmental factors that stipulate difficulty in a situation (Bandura, 2006). The barriers or facilitators that are identified exert an influence over whether the individual believes they can effectively act to carry out a behavior (i.e., choosing to offer SNAP redemption at a FM). This perceived control process is salient in the IBM a nd the preceding


43 TPB. Self the environmental constraints established by perceived control (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). The awareness of inhibiting or facilitating environme ntal factors allows the individual a more informed foundation from which he/she can gauge self confidence in skill and knowledge within certain parameters. Jointly, these measures express PA as a critical determinant of behavioral intention (Montano & Kasp rzyk, 2015). While the three main constructs within the IBM (attitude, perceived norm, PA) are all important determinants for the prediction of behavioral intention, the current study specifically examines PA. While there is little research that specifical ly isolates PA (as it is described within the IBM) from the integrative framework as such, the broader concepts of agency and efficacy have been examined in a variety of contexts. Bandura (1990) synthesized social cognitive theory to analyze the causal fun ctions linking self perceptions of efficacy beliefs to human behavior and end state functioning. Gielen and Sleet (2003) reviewed the use of behavioral change theories in epidemiological (particularly injury prevention) contexts, concluding that the integr ation of constructs like self efficacy within behavioral theoretical frameworks have been under represented in injury prevention literature and have the capacity to be useful to build effective interventions to reduce injury incidence. Baker, Little and Br ownell (2003) adopted PBC to test self efficacy and agency as predictors of adolescent eating and physical activity intentions and behaviors for both boys and girls. The authors identified that intra self agency factors relating to perceived effort and abi lity were strong predictors of healthy behavioral intent for both genders (Baker et al., 2003) An early iteration of behavioral agency theory was applied to explore managerial risk taking and internal corporate behavior (Wiseman & Gomez Mejia, 1998), with


44 the authors identifying and categorizing a series of contextual factors intended to predict executive risk taking behaviors. The application of agency/efficacy could be equally useful when applied to MM motivations and intentions. The primary objective of this study was to examine MM perceptions of barriers to implementing and sustaining a nutrition incentive program to engage l ow resource SNAP shoppers. Applying perceived control and self efficacy constructs as a mechanism to large. The following chapter provides additional detail on this research focus and rationale. Chapter Summary This chapter first reviewed relevant literature positioning structural poverty and income inequality as immense influencers of food insecurity and nutritional access disparities in the United States. From 2000 to 2014, low security and low access households grew by nearly 33% (Elmes, 2016). These in food insecurity have increased demands on food banks, soup kitchens, and emergency food assistance outlets such as SNAP. While SNAP is the foremost federal nu trition assistance program offering benefit assistance for millions of low resource Americans, research indicates SNAP does little to close the nutrition disparity gap between high and low income populations. The chapter includes literature exploring the p ossible correlations between sustained SNAP utilization and adverse dietary and health outcomes (i.e., obesity). According to Leung et al. (2012), low income SNAP participants are more likely to purchase low cost, low nutrient foods to stretch a tight mon thly budget. Nutrition incentive programs like FAB have emerged as a response to this nutritional access disparity. The chapter includes a review of various iterations of matching programs and offers preliminary data compiled by FOG, the state wide adminis trators of FAB.


45 The researcher considers previously conducted research on both consumer and market manager perspectives of FMs and nutrition incentive programs. While there are several past examinations of shopper perceptions, these predominately measure perceptions of SNAP/EBT use and have not explicitly examined nutrition inventive program use. There is a dearth of research on MMs as a core population of interest. Like consumer research, past examinations of MM perceptions, attitudes and beliefs have foc used on SNAP/EBT engagement at markets. The researcher presents an opportunity here to explore MM perceptions through a qualitative lens. The historical development of the IBM was reviewed, tracing its evolution from the TRA, the TPB and other behavioral change theories. Implications of past research applying the IBM is discussed in distinct health promotion contexts. While the researcher addresses the three main constructs within the IBM (attitude, perceived norm, PA) as important determinants for the pre diction of behavioral intention, PA is discussed in greater detail as the leveraging focus for beliefs, was examined relative to its relevance to this study. Chapter 3 contains information about methodology, detailing research design, population/sampling, instrumentation and analysis decisions.


46 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Research Purpose and Objectives The purpose of this study was to explore how MMs perceive th eir own agency to effectively access and engage low resource SNAP audiences. The study specifically investigates how MMs identify and interpret barriers to effectively administer and market the FAB nutrition incentive program to SNAP shoppers. Applying the IBM as a theoretical framework, the researcher additionally positions the study as a formative inquiry of PA with the aim to elicit qualitative feedback of construct variables. As such, the findings may serve to build variable constructs that can be gener alized through quantitative testing. The participant sample includes MMs across 13 counties in Florida that have entered into formal contracts with FAB, committing to oversee day to day operations including staff and vendor training, record keeping, outrea ch/promotion and appropriate application of funds. To effectively explore MM perceptions of PA, the study addresses two core research objectives: (a) describe MM perceptions of perceived control in relation to FAB program engagement, maintenance and capac ity for sustainable growth and (b) describe MM perceptions of self efficacy in relation to FAB program engagement, maintenance and capacity for sustainable growth. These objectives are subsequently leveraged to communicate the relevance of considering MM p erspectives and experiences in nutritional promotion efforts through recommendations and lessons learned. The c onstant c omparative approach was applied in the analysis stage to identify and explore pertinent themes related to these objectives. The PA cons truct within the IBM is applied as an analytical frame to describe MM efficacy and agency in response to FAB administration/marketing barriers. This chapter includes an overview of the design and


47 methodology applied to the study and contains descriptions o f population, sampling, instrumentation, data collection and analytical strategies. Epistemological Position Both qualitative and quantitative approaches are enmeshed in philosophical traditions undergirded by epistemological and ontological assumptions ( Morgan, 2014). Epistemology and dynamic states of being ( Guba & Lincoln, 1994). Both worldviews have influenced the historical development and application of frameworks, designs and methodologies in research ( Guba & Lincoln, 1994). Collectively, these paradigms reflect broader epist emological and ontological worldviews while also serving as tools to guide research inquiry and practice ( Morgan, 2007). Emerging as a challenge to the positivist paradigm orthodoxy of the scientific method (conventionally represented by quantitative rese arch), a host of qualitative paradigms developed throughout the latter half of the 20 th century ( Guba & Lincoln, 1994). While tensions remain, efforts have been made to extricate qualitative and quantitative paradigms from an either or mentality ( Morgan, 2 007). Although qualitative inquiry is considered a more dynamic, appropriate methodology for the study of people in social contexts, it has also been criticized for its rigidity and over reliance on paradigmatic assumptions (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015 ; Morgan , 2014). Increasingly, the attempt to disentangle paradigm competition has also gained recognition within qualitative research. The evolution of paradigm development, categorization and application has triggered significant debate and confusion about the Guba & Lincoln, 1994; Morgan, 2007). While recognizing the salience of such a critique, the researcher believes identifying a central paradigm has appropriate utility in the con text of this study.


48 This study largely adheres to constructivist, or interpretive assumptions. This paradigm posits that meaning and understanding emerges through inter exchange and dialogue in which views and perspectives are negotiated among members of a community (Merriam, 2009). Interpretivism asserts meaning is produced through naturalistic inquiry (predominately through interview, observation or content analysis) and that it emerges from an investigative process rooted in specific contexts (Merriam, 2009). As this study attempts to evaluate and describe the contextual perspectives and experiences provided by participant feedback, the interpretive approach was considered appropriate for this study. The interpretive position facilitates the evaluation of programmatic functioning and efficacy as feedback is grounded in immediate, material context (Ritchie, Lewis, Nicholls & Ormston, 2013). The applied function of FM managers in administering and marketing the FAB program warrants their inclusion as colla borative co constructors of meaning. This approach facilitates a relatively fluid interpretation of meaning and value tied to situational and temporal contexts. The following section describes researcher bias, research design and methodological decisions. Researcher Bias Statement The researcher has prior engagement and experience with FMs, representing an organic farm as a vendor/market operator for two full growing seasons at various markets across North Central Florida. As Florida based markets are the immediate environmental context for the population of interest in this study, this exposure allowed the researcher an element of familiarity with market terminology, logistics and responsibilities. The experiences may have also unconsciously influenced th alleviate FFV access disparities. The contextual connection may also express itself in the data collection process. Here, prior exposure may have facilitated more dynamic probing questions wi thin a semi


49 produce growing, vending and marketing may preclude assumptions about certain behavioral traits (i.e., loyalty to vendors, dedication to market) of MMs as the po pulation of interest in this study and their engagement with low resource communities. Research Design This study is designed as an instrumental case study. According to Yin (2003), the case study is designed to explore and describe a material setting, sp ace, time or context with intent to advancing its understanding. A case predominately refers to a bounded system as a unit of analysis (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015). It has also been conflated as a product, or output, of a specific type of inquiry (Merriam & T isdell, 2015). According to Yin (2014), a case study is research ers differ in their preference to categorize the case study as a strategy, design method or an output, there is broad consensus that delimiting the case (identifying the bounded objects(s) of study) should be prioritized (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015). Accordin g to Stake (2006): A case is a noun, a thing, an entity, it is seldom a verb, a participle, a functioning . . . ortunity to examine functioning, but functioning is not the case (p.1). The assertion here is that a unit of analysis be intrinsically bound to qualify as a case ( Yin, 2017). In the current study, the case, or unit of analysis, is the sample of Florida based FM managers that administer the FAB nutrition incentive program. The study is not evaluating the program itself, but rather the facilitating and constraining influences th at administration and marketing of the program exerts on a specific population of interest. In short, the study is examining a finite group of individuals bound by their engagement with the FAB program in


50 Florida. The study is positioned as instrumental be cause it aims to utilize a case to address a broader social issue ( Stake, 1994). The broad goal for a case study is to identify the boundaries of the case and understand the complexity of the operational patterns within the bounded system ( Patton, 2001). A dditionally, a case study should be considered when contextual conditions are thought to be salient to the phenomenon under study ( Baxter & Jack, 2008). In this study, whether or not FM managers feel they have agency in effectively engaging low resource sh oppers is largely contingent upon contextual, environmental factors. The logistical factors that facilitate or constrain FAB engaging behavior are highly salient and exert significant influence. In this sense, 2015, p. 38). Population The target population of interest for this study were FM managers overseeing market level administration of the FAB program at outlets in Florida. Managers engaged in the program at the time of data collection had entered into formal contract with FOG, the principal administrator of the FAB program in Florida. While FOG provides initial support funding and technical/resource assistance to markets, individual managers are expected to supervise the day to day operation of FAB, including overseeing staff and v endor training, record keeping, promotion, and leveraging of funds. Additionally, managers agree to maintain stable staffing for the SNAP/EBT and FAB program, assist in outreach and provide supplies for the EBT and FAB booth, including a tent, tables, chai rs, etc. A total of 13 MMs agreed to one on one semi structured phone interviews. One manager (P17) oversaw two distinct markets and was interviewed to express views regarding both contexts. Therefore the total interview number was


51 14. Participants were ei ther current or former managers of the FAB program at their market at the time the interviews were conducted. Participant Selection This study employed purposive and snowball sampling techniques to access participants. Initially, purposive sampling was ut ilized. According to Creswell and Plano Clark (2011), 173). Here, part icipant solicitation was conducted via phone calls and email, utilizing two publicly accessible listserv databases for registered FMs in the state of Florida: (a) The USDA's compilation of SNAP offering DTC outlets in the country and (b) the Florida Depart ment of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) list of community FMs. Many researchers distinguish between a first stage and second stage of purposive sampling, known as criterion based selection (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015). Attributes of a sample that are crucial to the study are first identified before participants that explicitly meet those criteria are recruited. In the current study, sources were intentionally selected because they provided referents that met the inclusion criteria for the study (i.e., they provided a list of FAB adopting market manager contacts). After this phase, solicitation efforts shifted to incorporate snowball sampling techniques. Snowball sampling, also known as chain or network sampling, involves utilizing an initial selection o f key informants to provide references to other potential participants that can meet inclusion criteria gets bigger and bigger as you accumulate new information ri Potential project participants were provided through contact references provided by the 501(c)(3) partner organization FOG, the Extension database within the Family Nutrition Program (FNP) at


52 the University of Florida, and directly from initially solicited MMs. The following section provides further detail on the data solicitation and collection process. Data Collection In qualitative research, data are conveyed through words to express the experiences, feeling, beliefs or attitudes of human beings (Merriam, 2009). According to Merriam & Tisdell collection instrument that is sensitive to underlying meaning when gathering and interp reting interviewing is the most commonly used in applied fields and contexts (Merriam, 2009). Interviews are most appropriate when special information that a pers on contains are not observable. According to Patton (2015): We interview people to find out from them those things we cannot directly observe . . . We cannot observe feelings thoughts and intentions. We cannot observe behaviors that took place at some previ ous point in time. We cannot observe situations that preclude the presence of an observer . . .w e have to ask people questions about those things. The purpose of interviewing, then, is to allow Inte rviews can contain varying degrees of structure, from highly structured to loosely structured (Patton, 2005). The current study employed semi structured interviews with participants. Semi structured interviews are most appropriate when the researcher like ly has only one opportunity to interview a participant and when several interviews are required. They are typically conducted to allow for flexibility in question structure, wording and order (Merriam, 2009). For each one on one interview, the researcher a dhered to the general structure/question order provided by a pre constructed interview guide. Written questions within the guide were open ended and included probes that allowed the researcher opportunities to deviate from the linear structure of the conve rsation and explore moments of silence, hesitation, passion or


53 interest from the participant. According to Merriam and Tisdell (2015), this particular format respo Institutional review board (IRB) approval was secured prior to contacting the study participants. The researcher solicited participation from potential MM participants through both email and direct phone call s. Inclusion criteria for the study were applied for the duration of outreach efforts. The researcher targeted participants over 18 years old that meet the occupational and experiential criteria (market managers offering SNAP and FAB program access at thei r markets). Participant contact information was obtained from four primary sources at varying stages of outreach: (a) contact references provided by FOG, (b) the Extension database within the FNP at the University of Florida, (c) the USDA's national SNAP o ffering DTC outlet database and (d) the FDACS statewide list of FMs. After initial outreach to contacts, certain individuals requested additional clarity on the purpose of the study and their specific role as a research participant. These exchanges occurre d via phone and email. Once an individual agreed to participate in the study, he/she was provided an informed consent document, designed to advise the participant of their rights in the process. The participant was also assigned a letter code (i.e., 1; 2; 3) maintained in a database that would serve as their primary referent for the duration of the study. This decision helped to organize participants and ensure confidentiality. Before each interview, the researcher obtained verbal or written permission to p roceed, acknowledging that they had received and received the informed consent document and that they understood their participation in the process was voluntary. Each interview was recorded, transcribed and coded. The researcher continued collecting data until he felt he had reached data saturation. Data saturation occurs when the researcher is no longer receiving and documenting


54 new or unique information from participants (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Further detail about coding and analysis decisions applied to this study are provided in the following section. Data Collection Instrument : The researcher utilized a semi structured questionnaire instrument for data collection. These questions were formulated to engage MM participants with primary questions and p robe inquiry options dependent upon the direction of the discussion. The instrument guide represented in the table below shows the interview protocol that guided data collection. Primary questions (and their corresponding probes) were initially tagged wi th an a priori categorization. These question categories served as initial themes preceding emergent coding efforts. This process is detailed further in the following section. Table 3 1. FAB adopting questionnaire Question Number Primary Question Probe Que stion A Priori Question Category Q1: How did you become engaged with managing a N/A Manager motivations, values and perceptions Q2: What is your sense of the the market? Have you noticed either a positive or negative shift in market traffic in the past year? Consumer motivations, values and perceptions Q3: Could you talk about the organizational structure of the market? Is it private, non profit or CRA supported? How does that affect your operation? Internal market strategies Q4: What changes have you made during your tenure as market manager that has made a noticeable impact? For example, what changes in marketing, signage, bringing in new vendors, if any, have helped or hindered the Internal market strategies Q5: How would you describe your working relationship vendors? N/A Vendor motivations, values and perceptions


55 Table 3 1. Continued Question Number Primary Question Probe Question A Priori Question Category Q6: Were your vendors open to the introduction of FAB at the market? Were there any logistical issues with implementation, whether through appropriate signage or the use of tokens? Vendor motivations, values and perceptions; Program logistics and constraints Q7: Did you introduce either the SNAP or FAB programs through any sort of formal vendor contract/agreement? Was the process easy or difficult? Why? Internal market strategies Q8: Where in the (town/county) is your market located? How do you think the transportation access for low resource community members? Consumer motivations, values and perceptions Q9: What motivates you in your role as market manager? How do you define success for this market? Manager motivations, values and perceptions Q10: What are the some of the larger limitations to your market becoming more successful? Do you feel that these limitations are more localized or societal in nature, i.e., national trends? Program logistics and constraints Data Analysis Basic guidelines in qualitative research stipulate that there should be litt le distinction between the data collection and analysis processes (Merriam & Tisdell , 2015). Rather, these processes should overlap, if not occur simultaneously (Taylor, Bogdan & DeVault, 2015). By nature, qualitative inquiry is iterative and recursive, seldom adhering to a straightforward, linear structure. In this sense, analysis in qu alitative research is considered emergent. According to evolve over the course of a research project in response to what is learned in the earlier parts of the stud constructivist paradigms in qualitative research. Within this framework, emergent design


56 s in (Morgan, 2008, p. 2). While the iterative approach supports the goals of naturalistic inquiry, it also creates explicit challenges for a qualitative researcher. Th e primary challenge is the threat collected from each participant, a researcher must use an effective method to organize, interrelate and accurately represent fin dings (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). While flexible and recursive, there is a staged procedure for effectively managing the analysis process. Corbin and Strauss (2008) refer to the process of analyzing qualitative data as coding. A systematic method of r eviewing, sifting, arranging and interrelating all obtained data, coding is a prerequisite in the qualitative analysis process. Although narrowing and classifying data through coding is endemic to all qualitative research, this study specifically employs t he c onstant c omparative m ethod to effectively navigate the frequent weaving between data collection and analysis. Corbin and Strauss (2008) identify three stages in the c onstant c omparative method : (a) open coding, (b) axial coding, and (c) selective codin g. Tesch (1990), describes the value of the comparison technique: The main intellectual tool is comparison. The method of comparing and contrasting is used for practically all intellectual tasks during analysis: forming categories, establishing the bounda ries of the categories, assigning the segments discriminative power of categories, and to discover patterns (p. 96). Emergent/Open Coding process of breaking down, examining, comparing, conceptualizing, and categorizing data" (Corbin & Strauss, 1990, p. 61). During this primary phase the researcher


57 2012, p. 84). This allows for the identification of distinct categories before the facilitation interrelation and theme construction. The researcher applied open coding after audio recordings had been t ranscribed verbatim for each interview conducted. The researcher uploaded all audio recordings to a secure and private computer. The researcher transferred audio recordings using transcription software to transcribe conversations. Once files were complete, the initial open coding process involved re playing the audio recordings back while reading the transcripts to verify their accuracy. Codes were partially constructed through handwritten notes on the page to identify or underscore interesting points, them to code construction, note taking on these transcripts was an important way to perform a live February and Ma y of 2018. The process was staggered, as note taking was quickly completed once a scheduled interview had been completed, recorded and transcribed. After this audio transcript playback process, basic, emergent themes were coupled (by highlighter pen) to th ematic question categories within the questionnaire instruments. The identification of basic, a priori categories for questions on the semi structured protocol allowed the researcher to use guiding questions as a basic framework for further code constructi on and interrelation. Axial/Thematic Coding After this stage, all transcripts files were uploaded through the Nvivo qualitative data analysis software program. The software allowed the researcher to classify, sort and arrange information, as well as visua lly examine relationships in the data. Here, a more structured and refined coding and analysis process could be conducted. The researcher began to organize code program ). First tier codes were comprised of the broad a priori categories that reflected the nature of questions used in the semi structured instrument. These tags merely reflected the


58 question and answer topic (i.e., program logistics and constraints) and were a primary way to organize data. In the emergent phase, the researcher identified codes to represent concepts, themes, and meaningful patterns that emerged within each participant case. In the second phase, thematic codes are nested within broader question category codes. For example, bureaucratic limitations (rules and regs) was identified as a theme nested within the program logistics and constraints category. The researcher used different colors corresponding to the categories and sub categories to contin ue to identify, organize and compare sub categories and emergent themes. Throughout the process, newly identified codes were re named, re ordered and generally scrutinized to ensure their utility and relevance to the objectives of the study. This procedure broadly reflects the axial coding approach. According to Corbin and Strauss (1990), axial coding refers to "a set of procedures whereby data are put back together in new ways after open coding, an initial two tier coding process (emergent/open coding to axial coding) with this first wave of feedback helped to refine the question instruments used with participants. By continually asking questions and making comparisons between datasets, both indu ctive and deductive reasoning was applied at this stage of code interrelation (Kolb, 2012). Selective Coding The researcher applied elements of selective coding as the final coding step within the c onstant c omparative m ethod. Selective coding is a procedure to systematically relate code categories to one another, validating relationships between them, and adding detail to categories that need further refinement and development (Kolb, 2012). The process of category formation, comparison, reconstitution and rearrangement continued until every participant case had been thoroughly analyzed and the researcher felt the adequately represented in the final structure of thematic codes. The c onstant c omparative m ethod


59 allows a researcher to examine a dataset in a systematic manner (Corbin & Strauss, 2008). In this study, the approach wa s used iteratively to make useful sense out of the data at large (Merriam & Tisdell , 2015). In moving between concrete data sets and thematic concepts, description and interpretation, the researcher attempted to follow a procedure designed to advance understanding of the research question at hand (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015). The following section addresses steps the researcher took to ensure an appropriate level of trustworthiness and rigor was achieved. Justification of Methods There are several authors within the qualitative research community at large that have contributed to criteria or standards for rigorous qualitative research. Due to the diversity and variability of paradigms, methods and approaches applied within qualitative inquiry, perspectives differ about which metrics of a quality study should be prioritized. Patton, for exampl e, notes "issues of quality and credibility intersect with audience and intended research purposes" (1999, p. 1189). His techniques for ensuring rigor, or credibility, include careful analyzation of all data at hand, with sufficient attention paid to valid ity, reliability and triangulation (Patton, 1999). Guba and Lincoln (1980) introduced a related, but alternative criteria to ensure rigor during evaluate credibility , transferability, dependability and confirmability in a study to shed light on overall value (Lincoln & Guba, 1986). While these criteria have been subject to critical review (Morse, 2015), the researcher believes in the relevance of trustworthiness to th is study. The researcher applies three of these metrics in this study: credibility, transferability and confirmability. Each is discussed in brief within the context of the current study. The researcher aims to reflect these criteria by describing procedur al decisions in a transparent way.


60 Credibility (Lincoln & Guba, 1986). This refers to the perceived truth value of findings influenced by both participants and stud y context (Guba, 1981). This study employs three common methods designed to establish and/or improve credibility in qualitative inquiries: prolonged engagement, persistent observation, and analyst triangulation through peer debriefing. Prolonged engagemen t involves spending sufficient time observing various aspects of a context, speaking with and cultivating relationships with the population of interest (Lincoln & Guba, 1986). As a researcher, sustaining a presence in a particular context facilitates trus t building and can lay the groundwork for the effective co construction of meaning between researcher and participant (Guba, 1981). In his bias statement, the researcher has already described his previous work history as a farmer and member of the FM comm unity. This prior engagement and familiarity with the cultural context lowered the barrier to establishing trust and credibility with MMs. Prior to and during the data collection period of the study, the researcher established dozens of hours of engagement , attending formal conferences hosted by FOG, attending informal workshops related to SNAP and FAB management, and through coordination calls and emails with prospective participants. Persistent observation is closely linked to prolonged engagement. Linco ln and Guba (1985) describe persistent observation as an extension of the concept of trust building: If the purpose of prolonged engagement is to render the inquirer open to the multiple influences the mutual shapers and contextual factors that impinge upon the phenomenon being studied, the purpose of persistent observation is to identify those characteristics and elements in the situation that are most relevant to the problem or issue being pursued and focusing on them in detail. If prolonged engageme nt provides scope, persistent observation provides depth" (p. 304).


61 The underlying assumption with both criteria is that spending more time engaged in a particular setting or cultural context provides time for trust to be established with participants (Mo at FM settings established a rich level of familiarity with the idiosyncratic characteristics of culture and place. In addition to this prior engagement, the research er continued to attend FMs through the duration of the study, taking deliberate notes on the behavioral patterns of vendors and shoppers and observing general interaction dynamics that felt salient to the context of the study. Triangulation involves the u se of multiple data sources and/or perspectives in an investigation to improve understanding (Lincoln & Guba, 1986). Triangulation may involve multiple formats. Patton (2001) identified four main types of triangulation: methods triangulation, source trian gulation, analyst triangulation and theory triangulation. Some account (Creswell & Miller, 2000, p. 124 125). Others view this application skeptically and rather perceive triangulation as technique to ensure that an exploration is rich, r obust, comprehensive and well developed (Morse, 2015). Patton (2001) broadly advocated triangulation as a way to achieve analyst triangulation. Peer debriefing body of qualified individuals for feedback and review (Corbin & Strauss, 2008). According to peer


62 in a manner paralleling an analytical session and for the purpose of exploring aspects of the n the analytical design and evaluation and behavior change implementation, making the committee at large qualified to offer salient feedback to the researcher. Within each stage of the analysis process, the researcher would draft debrief memos to send to the committee. The memos would update them on overall progress of the study, procedural decisions made, and intentions for next steps. Peers also reviewed primary codes and themes established by the researcher. These exchanges provided the researcher opportunities to check his own biases and assumptions. According to support, to the next step methodologically, and asks hard questions about methods and interpretations (p. Each of these techniques were employed iteratively throughout th e duration of this study. By applying prolonged engagement, persistent observation and analyst triangulation through the external feedback of a peer reviewer panel, the researcher aimed to have improved the credibility and truth value of the study (Creswel l & Miller, 2000). Transferability Since qualitative inquiry is dependent on context bound social and behavioral phenomena, and typically involve smaller datasets and samples, the concept of generalizability cannot validly be applied (Creswell & Miller, 2000). Instead, to improve trustworthiness in a study, qualitative researchers use techniques to employ transferability (Creswell & Miller, 2000).


63 other con texts (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). The concept of thick description is often employed by . . . another procedure for establishing credibility in a study is to describe the setting, t he participants, and the By collecting and sharing rich details of interviews, participants, settings and ation to other settings and to incorporated thick descriptive elements in the results section, adding contextual details to participant statements. Confirmability traced to participant feedback without undue influence from researcher bias, motivation, or interest (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). In short, confirmability measures a researche and objectivity. While there are multiple tools for pre empting confirmability issues in qualitative inquiries, the current study directly employed confirmability auditing and reflexivity. External audits are an important tool in ensurin g confirmability in a study (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). According to Creswell and Miller (2000), creating an audit trail for external review is the first crucial step in the process: In establishing an audit trail, researchers provide clear documentation of a ll research decisions and activities. They may provide evidence of the audit trail throughout the account or in the appendices. Researchers may also use an external auditor to review their study. The goal of a formal audit is to examine both the process an d product of the inquiry and determine the trustworthiness of the findings (p. 128). In this study, the researcher maintained notes and memos throughout. The researcher created and continually updated an Excel spreadsheet logging the date and time of inte rviews,


64 the name and location of markets, whether the market was considered rural, urban or peri urban, profit) and other notes. All email exchanges between participants and committee members were specifically between participants and committee member reflects the peer debrief technique also employed to Establishing transparent documentation of procedure, choices, interpretations and deliberations of their own interpretative influence on the direction, structure and outcome of th e study (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Researchers themselves often serve as a core data collection and analysis instrument in qualitative research, given the interpretive influence they exert (Merriam, 1998). Given this, the capacity for a researcher to reflect on his/her ontology, epistemology, assumptions and preferences is critical. It is important to acknowledge that interpretive influence is not necessarily undesirable and that the existence of these conditions is not an issue in of itself. According to Mal terud (2001): " Preconceptions are not the same as bias, unless the researcher fails to mention them " (p. 484). Within the current study, the researcher created and sustained use of a reflexive journal where notes were recorded detailing personal hunches, inclinations and assumptions about the research. These steps introduce transparency into the project and externalize elements of personal bias to contextualize and constrain its effects. While interpretive latitude is useful, the researcher aims to allow t he data itself to drive key findings. Chapter Summary This instrumental case study investigates how FAB partnered FM managers identify and interpret barriers to effectively administer and market the nutrition incentive program to SNAP shoppers. A case is described as a delimited and intrinsically bound unit o f analysis (Merriam &


65 Tisdell, 2015). Here, the study is examining a finite group of market managers bound by their decision to formally administer the FAB program at their FM. The study is described as instrumental because it aims to apply a case to addre ss a broader social issue ( Stake, 1994). The population of interest for this study were FM managers supervising market level direction of the FAB program at DTC market outlets in Florida. All managers were either previously or currently on contract with FO G to administer the FAB program. FOG provided preliminary funding support and technical/resource assistance to markets. Partnered managers were expected to supervise the day to day operation of FAB, which included overseeing staff and vendor training, reco rd keeping, promotion, and leveraging of funds. As a pre requisite to qualify for FAB funding assistance, managers were expected to first facilitate the redemption of SNAP/EBT benefits for low resource consumers. Managers agreed to maintain staffing and in frastructure for the SNAP/EBT program, assisting in outreach and providing supplies for the EBT and FAB booths. This study employed mixed purposive/snowball sampling techniques to contact participants. The final participant sample included a total of 14 M Ms across rural, urban and peri urban counties in Florida. Each were provided informed consent and voluntarily agreed to one on one semi structure phone interviews. Participants were either current or former manager/coordinators of the FAB program at thei r market at the time the interviews were conducted. Questions within the semi structured interview guide were open ended and included probes that allowed the researcher opportunities to deviate from the linear structure of the conversation and explore mom ents of silence, hesitation, passion or interest from the participant.


66 situation at hand, to the emerging worldview of the respondent, and to new ideas of the topi 11). The researcher utilized the c onstant c omparative m ethod to identify and explore pertinent themes related to two core objectives: (a) evaluate MM control beliefs (perceived control) regarding FAB program engagement, maintenance and capacity for growth and (b) evaluate MM efficacy beliefs (self efficacy) regarding FAB program engagement, maintenance and capacity for growth. The c onstant c omparative method allows a researcher to shift between data collection and analysis stages in order to compare and refine code constructions, categories and themes (Creswell, 1998). In employing the c onstant c omparative technique, the researcher applied open, axial and selecting coding procedures. This overall approach was used iteratively to organize and interpret large data sets (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015). In moving between concrete data sets and thematic concepts, description and interpretation, the researcher attempted to follow a procedure that designed to advance understanding on the research question at hand (Merriam & Tisdell, 2015). In addition to describing methodological techniques and presenting the data collection instrument used, the researcher provided justification of methods with the aim to improve this were described within the current study context. The following chapter describes the key results and findings of the study.


67 CHAPTER 4 RES ULTS Chapter Introduction This chapter reviews key findings from data collected through semi structured interviews with FAB adopting MMs. Analysis results were obtained through use of the c onstant c omparative m ethod. The chapter proceeds in three sections. The first section offers a descriptive account of the population of interest and the market conditions that participants operate within. These responses correspond to questions 1, 2 and 3 on the questionnaire instrument represented in the preceding chapte r, addressing MM motivations, values and perceptions and strategies employed within the market. Sections two and three address findings to support the core research objectives of this study: (a) explore MM perceptions of perceived control in relation to FA B program engagement, maintenance and capacity for sustainable growth and (b) explore MM perceptions of self efficacy in relation to FAB program engagement, maintenance and capacity for sustainable growth. Jointly, these objectives illustrate determinants within the PA construct described in the IBM. The researcher references participant feedback to describe thematic factors to reflect PA perceptions. Section two contextualizes and expands on emergent themes describing participant control beliefs through t he concept of perceived control. Section three addresses themes representing participant perceptions of self efficacy. Sub sections within each of these core sections will describe specific emergent themes substantiated by direct quotations from participan ts. The researcher took appropriate steps to ensure participant confidentiality in this study, removing identifying information from quoted statement and feedback. Each participant was provided a numeric identification code (i.e., 1, 2, 3) to be used on t ranscripts and within an


68 organizational spreadsheet/database. When referenced in this chapter, participants are referred to by their corresponding letter code, prefaced by the letter P (for participant). Participant 1, for example, would be referred to as (P1). All themes were constructed after iterative engagement with open, axial and selecting coding procedures described in chapter three. A brief description of the participant sample and the contextual conditions of the market environments are provided be fore thematic perspectives are explored . Participant and Market Condition Summary The target population of interest for this study were FM managers overseeing market level administration of the FAB program at FMs in Florida. At the time of data collection , the participants referenced in this study were either currently or had previously entered into formal contract with FOG (the principal administrator of the FAB program in Florida at the point of data collection) to provide SNAP/EBT and FAB at their marke t. A total of 13 male and female MMs agreed to one on one semi structure phone interviews ranging from 35 to 90 minutes in length. One manager (P17A; P17B) oversaw the administration of two separate FAB adopting markets in Alachua County, Florida, bringing the total number of participant interviews to 14. Descriptive characteristics of individual participants (i.e., age, gender, race/ethnicity, etc.) beyond the inclusion criteria of managerial status were not collected. The researcher instead offers a thick descriptive summary of participant engagement with FMs and FM structure and organization to improve the transferability and external validity of findings. One example of this are the participant self referents used. While the term manager is routinely app lied to participants throughout this document, not all participants explicitly referred to themselves as MMs. In select cases, the term market coordinator was applied as a self referent instead of market manager (P16; P17A; P17B). Participant (16) describe d her role explicitly:


69 (P16): A s being the FAB coordinator . . . my job was to be at that tent every single Saturday, and it's also the market information tent. So if somebody wants to be a new vendor for the market, or if they wanna, you know, buy a t shir t or buy a tote bag, that's where they go. But also, if they want to cash in their SNAP and get FAB, you know, the matching money, that's also where they go. So I've manned that tent for the past two and a half years. Another participant admitted she had changed capacities and was no longer serving as . . . I'm no longer market manager . . . but I sit on the committee , um, so I am still (P4). While seemingly inconsequential, these participant titles seem to reflect a level of diversity and variability in how markets were structured and organized. Some more well established markets had resource support available fund a specialized SNAP/FAB coordinator role (P16). Other markets desig nated individuals as public relation representatives authorized to coordinate and administer SNAP/FAB at their markets (P9). Despite the recognition that manager was not exclusively employed as a self referential title by participants, the researcher belie ves its employment as a broad category is valid. Whether or not a participant referred to him/herself as a representative, coordinator or manager, they were solicited for their role in directly overseeing the implementation and administration of both the S NAP and FAB programs at their market. Through introductory statements and specific responses from questions 1 and 3 from the collection instrument, participants revealed the level of diversity in how FMs are structured and funded. The FAB adopting managers interviewed for this study represented nine distinct fund ing/organizational structures for markets. Funding support structures include 501 (c) (3) non profits (P2; P3; P4; P8), private (P13; P17A), private/Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) supported (P5), Cooperative Extension/University supported (P7), Chamb er of Commerce supported (P12), Merchant Association/Chamber of Commerce supported, Mixed


70 Association (GA) supported (P17B). Below, the researcher offers examples of this fe edback. (P7): Yeah, we are extremely unusual. Um, our FOG partners, uh, have conference calls, they do so once a month. Most of our program with the FAB program are, uh, either privately owned, there a few municipal, I think three, but, um, most of them op erate independently. So they're either community organizations who operate under a 501(c)(3) . . . (P8): Yeah, we're a nonprofit organization. We have support from the Downtown Development Association, the city , and so in a way, we . . . A lot of our fundi ng does come through those organizations, but we have been working on becoming more and more independent of those organizations, and we're doing pretty good with that. (P8): And our organization is like that. It's extremely flexible. I've worked in nonprof its for a long time, and it's the most flexible organization I've ever been in, and that's so beneficial, because the hang ups that you see with the government agencies, where they can't do this, they can't do that, we don't have those restrictions. Someti mes we do within certain grants or something, but usually we know or can see a way around things to do them the best way we see. (P13): Our market is unique in that it's owned in a . . . Even though it, itself, is maybe a non profit type of operation at the present time, it's owned by a for profit corporation. Most every other market is operated or owned by a non profit entity, a state, local or city government, so we are very unique in t he way we're set up in terms of our ownership. The inclusion of organization variability here serves a dual purpose. In order to improve a descriptions of supplemental characteristics of environmental cont exts to allow research peers to n future, related studies. Participant feedback about market structure and environment also become relevant in the context of exploring PA. Thematic findings that illustrate both research objective one and two incorporate quotation statements from particip ants referencing market structure (among other environmental conditions) as important facilitating or constraining variables.


71 Research Objective One: Perceived Control The researcher identified program logistics and constraints (i.e., funding for equipmen t use, staffing time for data entry) as an open ended question category designed to illustrate participant control beliefs. The result of data analysis was a sequence of codes nested within a thematic category ( program logistics and constraints) that the r esearcher represents as expressive of perceived control. These codes are shown in Table 4 1 at the end of the chapter. The following themes represent logistical barriers to MMs effectively engaging with low resource communities via the FAB program. As such perceived level of control over their ability to effectively administer, market and grow the FAB program at their market. Themes are contextualized by participant statement quotes below. Lack of Awareness of Organizational Collaboration Whether or not a manager was sufficiently informed about potential organizational partners (Florida Department of Children and Families, UF/IFAS Extension, localized non profits, etc.) emerged as a salient factor that affec ted perceptions of control. This theme emerged predominately from questions 6 and 10 from the questionnaire, questions relating to market strategy and program logistics and constraints respectively. For certain respondents, organizational/institutional col laboration was viewed favorably, but was perceived to be elusive. coordinated in any meaningful way frustration in particular that she has not been consulted in these plans: (P1): Um, why the city wants to start another farmer's market is beyond me. We can't that would mean there are three farmer's markets within a seven mile radius. I don't know when they're gonna run the farmer's market or what the structur e is gonna be or anything cause they haven't they haven't set it up or done anything and they haven't said what their anything about it. Uh, we can we can barely . . . we really only can support one farmer's market. That's the . . . true statement is the ar ea can only support one farmer's market. And the reason why the three markets


72 would persist is because each of the communities has each of their personality and, um, they're just plain stubborn . Another participant engaged in local food access efforts at h er market and within her community at large valued collaboration but noted that the local food movement could often be territorial, resulting in limited lines of communication. (P5): So I do think having those workshops, having opportunities for people to meet face to face and kinda talk about their projects allows for people maybe to come together a little bit more. Because I feel like . . . a lot of our stuff is happening in silos. I have seen this in most people in Florida that I've talked to have also ex pressed this, but for whatever reason the food system and the local food movement in general is very kind of territorial. Other respondents interpreted the question about organizational collaboration slightly differently, lamenting the lack of coordinatio n between different FMs in the same country or in nearby counties. (P11): I don't think that there's that level of communication between the different markets in [county]. So other than that, I still think we're the only ones and I don't think we have that level of just intercommunication between market. I guess they're business entities and they don't really talk down here. I wish it was different, but it's kind of how it is down here. This frustration , shared by other participants, has implications for th e concept of saturated demand and over competition between markets. This observation is examined in a latter sub section as another perceived control barrier. Declining Interest i n Local Food and FM s inquiry about perceived barriers to market success, several MMs cited some i interest from the American public at large (P2; P3; P4; P8; P11; P17A; P17B). One participant . . . I think ther e's been a shift, just in the local food movement. I think there's just more people looking for fresh raw food than


73 Most respondents referencing consumer interest in markets and/or local f ood broadly level consumer preferences either already had, or eventually would trickle down to affect their market negatively. (P2): Well, we've been actually having some challenges. I feel like the trend peaked the first market. The trend peaked in, like, 2014. So, yeah, I'd say no. (laughs). The support has not grown in the past few seasons. (Laughs) . . . so that was a bit of a challenge. Now, when you put i t all together, you know, that plus, I think, the fact of the trend has leveled out. I talked to other market managers, I talked to other farmers that do other markets and they same the same thing. They say numbers are down. Pretty much at every market the y go to. (P2): You know, and those are things that, yeah, that I have, in my six years doing this, have started doing. Because . . . when the previous market manager was doing their thing, it was a, I don't want to say "easier", but the trend was, you know , becoming popular. We are really trying to get the word out more about the market, especially because it seems like this season has gone down in traffic. (P8): I've heard, I don't know, I listen to tons of farmer podcasts and everything, and I've kind of heard that generally the overall support for farmers markets is going down, and I don't know if that's true or not, but I don't know. While these concerns were broadly directly to a general consumer base, these statements were offered as responses to prob e questions about low resource/SNAP eligible consumer interest in markets. Most participants did not explicitly connect peaking interest in local food markets at large to how a decline impacts engaging with low resource shoppers. One respondent considered whether low resource communities experienced trending behavior the same way as more affluent, food secure shopper segments do. (P4) : Are they, you know . . . are they experiencing the same trends? And do they an it, it sounds like they do, but . . . how to let them know. either ambivalent or non committal about how a dec lining trend would affect a low resource consumer segment. Certain respondents inferred a SNAP/low resource of redemption and


74 program use would correlate with a general decline in market use across all shopper segments (P2, P7). Bureaucratic Limitations ( Rules a nd Regulations ) inquiry concerning programmatic barriers to FAB adoption and market success, participants cited both major and minor rules, regulations and ordinances as obstacles to effectively administering and marketi ng the FAB program (P5; P10; P13; P17A; P17B). These obstacles manifested in distinct scenarios and contexts and seemed to exert varying reference contexts are explo red below. Referring to her contractual obligation to facilitate nutritional education and perform nutrition based marketing for SNAP eligible clientele, one participant shared past issues with providing food cooking demonstrations. (P10): I took a food safety class, and our market provides ev erything that's required. We have hot water. We have three tubs for washing and rinsing. We have every . . . and I've explained all of that to them, but they just . . . what the local people are telling me is they have a card that only . . . like a credit card that's only good at Publix. And so I purchased that out of my funds. FAB does give us some funds for groceries, a little bit, and so I purchased that out of my funds rather than the Family Nutrition Program spending their funds, to make it happen. The respondent here is referring to her engagement with local FNP agents who are usual collaborating partners with MMs in efforts to offer nutrition based cooking demonstrations. The frustration here was with miscommunication about the appropriate expenditure of funds to obtain produce ingredients used for a SNAP ED cooking demonstration at the market. The participant locally grown FFVs provided by one of her vendors in . . . we just find that with government agencies that they're . . . at least around here, they're very


75 One participant express regulation perspective, noting the substantial disincentives that exist for failing (knowingly or unknowingly) to comply with SNAP administration and accounting protocols. (P13): And then that's the wh ole problem with anybody who takes food stamps, even a vendor. I mean, you read in the paper all the time, people getting accused of not administering food stamps properly. I'm sure there's something fraud and those people deserve to be prosecuted, but you certainly don't want to be in the paper or accused of doing something wrong, when you had good intentions and you didn't understand what somebody was looking for. Another participant discussed constraining by laws adhered to by the market she was procedures. The as decisions. (P17B): Yeah, I think definitely the bylaws can be a limitation. There's, you know . . . it took me two years to get them to accept having a cooking demo. Because we had to sort of like massage the bylaw rules a little bit. Um, to allow something like that. But I mean, things like the market have to modernize. It, we have to get out of this, you know this system, where we're like constantly going back to this 200 page bylaw document. I mean that's just stupid. That's just . . . I mean, n ot to be super critical, but it just doesn't, it doesn't lend itself to like the modern democratic process. You know? Y es , you can have a constitution or whatever, you can have bylaws, but you have to be able to say, look, you know, we need to step into the modern era. Grocery , Online Retailers and O ther Markets a s Competition The topic of retail competition arose as a response to the earlier probe question about peak consumer interest in local food, DTC outlets and FMs. As a follow up point to speculate which factors may be contributing to a perceived decline in consumer interest, multiple participants referenced the diffusion and co grocery and other retail spaces (P2; P5; P7; P13).


76 (P2): Our community has been opening grocery stores, it seems like every year. Um, so, first there was Trader Joe's, and I count shoppers, so I count shopper numbers each week. And each time a grocery store opene d, the shopper numbers would go down a little and then not ever really go back up. So, first there was Trader Joe's. Then there was Earth Fare. Then there was Native Sun, and lastly there's Lucky's. So that's four grocery stores that have opened up in our community that offer, well . . . there's a bit of green washing going on . . . s o a lot of my shopper numbers have gone down significantly. I mean, in 2014, we were counting anywhere from 1,200 to 1,700 shoppers every week. Now, we're happy if we get 600 t o 700. Other respondents echoed this sentiment, with explicit mention of natural food grocery chains like Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Earth Fare as primary competitors in terms of FFV sales and marketing allure generally (P13). The effort to specifically ado (P13): So, I think part of what you see in the market and the grocery stores, whether it's a general grocery store or these so called healthy grocery st ores, like the Whole Foods, and the sprouts, and the Earth Fares, in fact many of them use the term, farmers market, to market themselves. They're trying to create a farmers' market type impression on people, and then they talk even about buying local prod uce or organic produce, or whatever, and so there's definitely more people in our space. While the statements above identify the broad competition pressures retailers are perceived to present to MMs, one participant noted the particular threat large grocer y/retail chains present in terms of reaching out to SNAP eligible, low resource shoppers as a market base. (P7): So when you're competing with Walmart, who also takes SNAP, that would have made it more difficult. And yeah, there are a lot of things head to head we simply can't compete with them on. One, we don't carry all those products. And two, yeah, they'll have the lower price point, that's just scale of economy. But the FAB program kind of leveled that playing field, which is one of the things that we meant to do. , both with FAB shoppers and consumers at large (P5; P11). Below is a description of an over saturation of markets and a


77 tendency for newly established markets to exclusively cater towards affluent, already food secure population segments. (P5): Basically , in Tallahassee, we have a problem that there are a lot of farmer's markets. And people are constantly wanting to try, to start new ones. Which is a very lofty goal and I I would love for there to be farmer's markets everywhere that are accessible. But i t doesn't necessary , it doesn't make sense to have a farmer's market in every neighborhood that . . . and especially a lot of the people were like middle class or upper middle class white people in more suburbs. Consumer Motivations, Values, Perceptions a nd Preferences Consumer behavior seemed to exert an influence as a constraining variable affecting MM perceptions of control. In response to question 2 in the data collection instrument, several managers (P4; P5; P7; P10; P11; P13; P14; P15) cited some pe rceived effect of consumer behavior (motivations, values, perceptions and preferences) as an influence on their capacity to effectively manage and market the FAB program. Participant (8), for example, expressed how a those preferences, as her market was predominately supplied by local growers with seasonal we don' expectation for convenience in their shopping experience as a barrier to reaching out to them and successfully implementing FAB: (P8): I think people want to go to a grocery store or they want to buy their stuff on Amazon and at the end of the day, they want what they want and I don't think they're willing to change their lifestyle, or their menu, or what they're cooking in order to kind of accommodate what is seasonally and l ocally available. of nutritionally adequate and locally grown foods negatively impacted their ability to encourage promote FFVs and encourage healthy eating behaviors t hrough strategic activities like food cooking demonstrations (P4; P5; P10). This concern was frequently expressed in response to


78 question 4 of the data collection instrument concerning the perceived impact of marketing and outreach activities employed at t he market. Managers felt that certain SNAP and FAB related activities (i.e., vendor spotlights, cooking demos) were limited when low exposure to FFVs and seasonality were present. One participant observed investment in nutrition education and outreach prod impressions that increased awareness of food seasonality by SNAP shoppers would improve o utcomes for them as well as for the market. (P10): I f you take a little bit of time to understand the local growing season and to appreciate like what is there, and not to be so focused on what is not there, then you know, you can um, have a great eating experience. It might be different, but that's, can be really good too. Related to a lack of awareness to seasonal , locally produced food options, some managers par ticipant, who specializes in growing Asian leafy greens and other ethnic vegetables, indicated that her product was not necessarily popular with shoppers unfamiliar with seasonality: (P4): I think if they're going and buy being customers of mine, they're going to have to be willing to sort of try new things and just maybe give fringe like a chance. Because I would, you know, I grow what I can, what seasonable, what's seasonal and what I can grow . . . I feel like there's going to be a learning curve with o ur product but I'm totally happy to help customers you know, get into something like that. I try recipes and I have a website, and you know, where they can learn more and stuff like that. One respondent offered generational gaps as a rationale for why mar kets sometimes had difficulty facilitating these specific product preferences and demands: (P10): I think it's generational. So in other words, if you grew up and you never ate veggies or you ate them out of a can, if you have SNAP but you don't see value of fresh local food, then you're a hard demographic to reach.


79 Manager speculations about the product preferences from low resou rce shopper segments were variable and seemed to be influenced by where market was located regionally or by the market being situated in urban, peri urban or rural settings. Participant (1), for example, ences: And one of the things that we struggled with all along was having the citizens support the purchase of local produce. This is an extremely conservative part of North East Florida, and they're mostly retired people who are kind of used to just going to the grocery store and buying their produce. And they just aren't used to buying produce that isn't uniformly the same. And so when we had an organic grower come in, and maybe not have uniformly, uh, looking produce, they wouldn't buy it. They're just no t educated into the . . . um, the people are just not educated as to, um, as to eating healthy food. Two respondents noted an alternative consumer perception dynamic that strained engagement with the program: a reluctance or hesitancy from openly using SNAP/EBT benefits (P7; P10). These respondents believed a reluctance to redeem food assistance benefits often stemmed from a sense of embarrassment. One participant shared an anecdote to represent this perspective, describing an interaction she had w ith a newly SNAP dependent shopper at her market: (P7): Sometimes, especially with the SNAP recipients, I will say one thing is, you know, like the couple who came in, who have the business where they take food assistance, the first time, the wife came in, you okay? Can I . . . can I help you with something, or are you upset about ow, you have to point out to the clientele as well, hey, look, you've paid into the system. You're part of our community. You are welcome here. Initial Consumer Outreach a nd Exposure When asked about some of the core barriers to successfully implementing a nd expanding access to low resource shoppers through the SNAP/EBT and FAB programs, managers identified . . . there's still probably just lots and lots of people from our own cust omer bases who don't even know about


80 P11). According to participants (2; 3): (P2): Getting the word out is our biggest hurdle. That's for sure. Um, you know, gettin g getting the information about the market into the right people's hands. And then also instilling, um, you know, like the the friendly atmosphere. Like, farmers markets aren't just for hippies and rich rich white people, you know? (P3): Just kind of a matter of them knowing we're, that we're actually here and where we are and that we exist . . . that's our main barrier to getting more traffic. So that's a huge barrier, just getting people to know that we're here. One respondent contextualized outreac h challenges by contending that barriers go beyond resource community, upon seeing signage fo r a new market off a bus line, would simply stop after their workday on their observation: (P11): F or us, it's become much more apparent that in order to get th e SNAP benefit recipients to use the farmer's market, we have to literally go into their community where they live. And so the proximity to where they live is much shorter, much closer. It's like under a half a mile than it is for a more mobile community, like a more affluent mobile community. Here again , environmental and contextual conditions exercise a considerable influence on resource communities. The following efficacy c onditions identifies manager strategies employed to overcome this and other perceived hurdles. Public Support and Understanding o f SNAP When asked about the level of popular support for both the SNAP/EBT and FAB programs, managers claimed broad community s upport for their markets (P13; P16, P17A;


81 the expectancy of consistent SNAP/FAB access through markets was so high that it would be highly disruptive if it were temp orarily discontinued or entirely withdrawn. This respondent noted a high degree of support for SNAP and FAB utilization and that the regular market shoppers (many of whom are low P17B). (P17B): L definitely the community is incredibly supportive of it, in terms of using the service. Which is really, you know, how to maintain funding is just to have customers. And we have, we really do have a large number of customers. Especially if you compare it to other uh, compare it to other um, other markets. O ther managers took the question as an opportunity to recognize barriers with promoting SNAP/FAB access to a broader community, primarily noting the prevalence of negative perceptions of federal food assistance use (P7; P12). One participant shared her experiences with non SNAP community members and clients, describing instances of pushback or resentment to the market offering SNAP/EBT and F AB access to low resource community members (P7). She . . . who believe that, you know, this program is bloated, corrupt, whatever . . . (P7): T hen you get another perception in some areas, particula rly in Florida, a pretty conservative state, where folks tend to think that any benefit that's being quote unquote given to someone is something that's coming out of their pocket. They're paying somebody else to have something that should be theirs, or som ething, they're paying for something that they shouldn't be paying for. They're not understanding who SNAP recipients really are. They're not understanding that the program mandates that someone either be looking for work, in school, or meeting other crite ria. Another respondent noted that the initial pushback she got from providing SNAP/EBT and FAB access came through social media outlets like Facebook where online users express politically oriented aversion to federal assistance programs generally (P12). The respondent


82 Organizational Structure and Perceived Level o f Fun ding Support For Equipment Use, Staffing and Marketing Efforts sustaining the FAB program and actively engaging low resource clientele. Respondents offered general fe managing and promoting FAB. The perceived level of support managers expressed seem to position the level of control they felt they had in a given situation. As one responde Participant (10) described her market as a non profit organization with additional resource tion and city government. level of autonomy: (P10): The reason it functions as well as it does is that everybody pretty much manages their own project, as long as you inform or discuss. You can manage your own project the best way that you think it should be. And if what you ask to do isn't working, then that's another t hing. And our organization is like that. It's extremely flexible. I've worked in nonprofits for a long time, and it's the most flexible organization I've ever been in, and that's so beneficial, because the hang ups that you see with the government agencies , where they can't do this, they can't do that, we don't have those restrictions. Another respondent described a dual support structure for the market, mixing funds between local government coffers and the local CRA (P15). While the city is the primary su . . . sometimes we'll need a little extra help. And that's where the CRA will kick in and help as well. You know, like they'll, you know, match some of, you know what we put


83 Participants also addressed market structure in relation to two programmatic concerns. One core logistical constraint has to do with staffing and the time commitments required for FAB related data entry and marketing. One responden . . . the biggest challenge is the fact that none of the funding has provided us a person to operate our SNAP booth, so we had to of the chapter, r espondents often linked the organizational structure of their market to the perceived amount of leverage they had to obtain retain and pay trained personnel. Managers may either revert to external, private funding streams to provide trained staff or elect to utilize (often untrained) volunteers once grant funding expires. Participant (7) described issues with finding funding to keep a trained staff member at the the responden t suggested a lack of consistent funding for staff means an extra reliance on volunteer assistance (P10). With a limited number of volunteers and a high level of turnover, the . . . so pretty much every Saturday you had to re indoctrinat e people and so that was challenging. We do have somebody at the info booth, which is right next to the SNAP g to be the challenge for next year, are we going to be able to get that same funding, or are we going to have to seek it out somewhere else. Participant (16) ex pressed trepidation about the quality of assistance from untrained or newly trained volunteers: (P16): There's a learning curve. It's very hard when you have volunteers, because unless it's the same exact volunteer every week, which is a lot of commitment, for them to be knowledgeable enough to understand, like, what if a machine goes down? Or a glit ch? They have to be educated on all that, to make sure that the


84 program's running properly. You can't just have anybody just fill in. You don't have . . . you can't have, like, a warm body. Participant (13), as an administrator of a privately owned and op erated market, expressed a more charitable organization or a CRA: (P13): If you're running real tiny market, or you're a non profit and you've got a volunteer who's willing to sit there all day and staff a counter, or a kiosk to do all the paperwork and the bookkeeping and allocate tokens, or whatever process they use, somebody's paying for that. There's an added cost to have somebody sit there for hours during the d ay. With the time requirements for a staffer to assistant in all aspects of FAB administration, . . . it could be more money than it's worth. It costs more to administrate it than the amount of money you Certain managers expressed trepidation about investing heavily (both time and money) in paid or online advertising outlines, unsure if the limited funds they had available were best spent there. Managers less comfortable wit h utilizing digital/social media advertising outlets were directors might not approve of increased spending on FAB promotion. (P4; P14). As one respondent state . . . my concern is the future funding of the program, and we're dried up right (P13): Additionally, privately run markets are perce ived to be at a slight disadvantage in terms of funding allocation, as public/non profit markets are partially subsidized and therefore pressure to justify costs and achieve economic solvency. (P13): Our market is unique in that it's owned in a . . . even though it, itself, is maybe a non profit type of operation at the present time, it's owned by a for profit


85 corporation. Most every other market is operated or owned by a non profit entity, a state, local or city government, so we are very unique in the way we're set up in terms of our ownership. But, again, we try to operate it on a break even basis as a result, but we don't really ask for, or get, any operat ing subsidies or contributions or from government allocations or whatever. It's pretty much has to take care of itself. Locally Eligible Growers and Producers (Supply and Demand Issues) for MMs partnering with FAB was that only locally produced FFVs were eligible to be purchased/redeemed by SNAP shoppers. Shoppers interested in utilizing the FAB dollar for dollar match were required to identify local grower vendors. This mandate stipulate d that a consistent supply of locally produced FFVs were available. From the MM perspective, this presented a challenge. At the time of data collection, a few managers noted they were already feeling the impact of fewer and fewer farmers operating locally or regionally (P2; P3). Participant (3) suggested the local grower rules that FOG mandates for FAB eligibility places a burden on finding and retaining vendors: (P3): I t's mostly a question of eligibility. We don't have too many actual growers at the marke t. We only have one really who comes . . . i f we had more vendors and especially more vendors who accept SNAP and FAB. So, that is something we'd like to do. We are, we're constantly trying to find more actual growers . . . The respondent identifies eligible vendor retention for the market as a primary goal moving . . . as far as the market, goals are definitely to get more vendors in the door, more vendors to grow things in Florida would be awesome. We're always trying to look for tho The perception that local farmers and growers were struggling to remain solvent, and that there was a state wide lack of eligible growers to begin with was shared by another respondent: (P7): Yeah, that has been a challenge. It's been a really tough couple of years for the guys. And eventually, we will not have a farmer base to work with. So that's another concern. There are perceptions too about what local really is, and maybe


86 at some point there may not be anything local in Brevard. We may ha ve to push out to other counties. Beyond this, the lack of eligible local growers was perhaps acutely felt by participants at the time the interviews were conducted in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which severely impacted production for growers of vario us scales throughout the state (P2; P5; P14). (P14): This year, because Hurricane Irma, we had very few local farmers involved. And I think to have a really true market, you need to have that aspect, that vendor that just has localized foods and it then i s has to be the organic as well. But again, that Irma just messed up everybody's, seeding season out here, and planting was very late. Some didn't get back in at all. And uh, it was kind of a mess. But anyway, I see that as a future problem continuing, try ing to get through that. Another respondent echoed the view that hurricane damage had a significantly negative impact on product offerings at the market and cited other the impact of other severe weather incidents: (P2): One of our farmers had damage to th eir farm, so the weather's still weird in general, so it took a really long time for the peach farmer to get here, because she had like a freeze, and then it was too warm, and then it was cold again, and it was like, crazy trying to get her stuff ripe and ready for the market. Respondents expressed concern that the lack of eligible growers had a detrimental effect on consumer demand and product preference. If a customer attended a market once and did not find the specific food item or general level of vari ety that satisfies them, they may not return. (P2): You know, people who, like I said, the casual market shoppers, who would come and get, you know, their produce and their raw milk, they stopped coming to market because we didn't have those two major corn erstone farmers in our lineup any longer. There was also concern that grower vendors may compete with one another when supply is generally limited and restricted to what can be grown seasonally in Florida (i.e., o kra, eggplant and peppers during summer). considered local farmers and growers as critical actors in the broad effort to service low resource


87 w e want more and more produce to get into the hands of the community without really realizing is limited producer base, coupled with the naturally limited supply of product they can offer due to seasonal growing conditions, was perceived to facilitate an adversely competitive environment: (P5): I mean it's hard to have everyone successful in that s ituation a lot of the times when, especially in the times of the year where everyone's growing the things because those are what grow well here. It's hard to have everyone making enough money to keep coming back. Another participant struggled to reconcile two overlapping concerns. One, that the market required more growers to improve product supply and consumer choice, and two, that the market might not be able to facilitate success for an increase in vendor competition: (P10): And we're striving to bring in more food vendors. That seems to be somewhat of a challenge for us, because we're not a big enough market to justify too much duplication. 'Cause I mean, if everybody's not doing good, then they're not going to stay. So we find that to be somewhat of a challenge. Respondents also perceived small scale local growers to be increasingly avoidant of vending directly at markets; many are thought to be more interesting in meeting a production volume threshold that qualifies them for wholesale outlets. As Participant (J) suggests, DTC demand may not be able to sustain small . . . it's really tough. Some of the small farms in our area have failed this year. I hear that's happening all over, but I can only attest to what I'm seeing (P11): Once they hit kind of a critical mass level, then they can become wholesalers and things like that. And we're seeing a lot of smaller farms just kind of go away. Yeah, and that's part of the fight that I think we're in here is trying to fan into flame an interest in going into agriculture is just a hard thing. It's an uphill battle.


88 Transportation and Physical Access The limiting effects of low mobility and lack of transpor tation access for low resource shoppers were documented in several MM responses. Respondents understood SNAP eligible transportation routes to get to the market. The broad constraints caused by transportation and physical access barriers were contextualized throughout the data collection process. MM respondents specified scenarios endemic to their market where transportation served a particularly constraining role in effectively linking low resource communities with markets. A few respondents identified the senior segment of the broader SNAP eligible population as the least accessible and most in need of targeted outreach (P5; P7). (P5): A t one point we had an agre ement with the senior center to bus over there . . . like to provide transportation for the seniors from . . . we have Veteran's Village and somewhere else that aren't directly accessible. Or even if they were a few blocks away they can't walk. And that has fallen by the wayside this month so we're working on developing a new relationship to get that happening again. We have a new relationship or we're maintaining our relationship with AARP that they bring a group of seniors to the market. (P7): You have to g et to the customers where they live. I mean, we had to go, and it's not a perfect process . . . I watch mine fluctuate up and down, and every time I'd see a dip, I'd have to figure out another way to get to that audience. Because I know we're missing people. I'm missing the senior demographic, and I just have a devil of a time getting to these people. It's very difficult. There are transportation problems. noticeable and/or accessible by foot traffic. Respondents took note of this phenomenon and also describe poor transportation infrastructure conditions broadly, marked by infrequent routes, poor scheduling and the high number of switches required for community reside nts to access markets (P3; P7; P11).


89 Participant (3) shares frustration with not being physically accessible to market shoppers generally, as the market is located directly at a semi rural farm site in Hillsborough country: (P3): When I'm talking to peop le, outside of the farm, but especially for lower income families, I imagine some of them don't have cars, some of them rely on the bus. I know on the weekends, bus schedules are a little funky I know I can't think of a bus stop, off the top of my head, anywhere near here . . . but that is a big barrier to getting here, and um, and also, in general, I hear a lot that people just have no idea that we're here . . . that's a huge obstacle. Two additional respondents shared related perceptions of transportation as a barrier (P7; P11). Both iterated the limitations imposed by physical distance from a target demographic, particularly low resource segments because they are highly dependent upon inconsistent public transportation: (P7): Because it's, you know, we'r e a very large town, and getting people to the market, because transportation is hideous. Our bus system is, they do the best they can, but, you know, I have some customers who switch four buses to get to us. And then they have to walk through the park to the market. Not easy. Participant (11) noted that the initial advertising budget to market SNAP/FAB access Another respondent participant remarked that her market had been forced to change locations several times, mostly because market space locations are typically leased from municipalities on short term contracts. This dynamic was viewed as an impediment to effectively targeting low resource shoppers, making it m ore difficult for SNAP shoppers to locate and physically access (P15). As . . . each time that you move you have a different cultural base that comes as a customer. Yeah, it's different each time . . . (P15). Research Objective Two: Self Efficacy This section simi larly positions emergent themes to illustrate a core research objective. Research objective (b) aims to explore MM perceptions of self efficacy in relation to administering, marketing and growing the FAB program at their respective markets. Here, the resea


90 semi structured interview protocol used with participants. These codes are represented visually in Table 4 1 at the end of the chapter. Emergent themes were identi fied within this category to exemplify participant efficacy beliefs, detailing strategies/tactics/beliefs to adapt to or resolve some of the environment/programmatic barriers identified in the previous section. Findings are supported by participant quoted statements. Risk Taking and Experimentation Managers were specifically asked about the decisions or strategic changes that they had implemented at their market and the impact they believed those changes had. A few managers discussed their capacities for r isk taking and experimentation (P12; P15; P17A; P17B). Participant (12), for example, expressed a degree of confidence in the admission that she different markets all over the state and was a nosy bird. I wanted to see what other markets were about and how they ran, to copy and steal ideas, its Participants (12; 15) additionally exert their agency to try new tactics within highly variable contexts where out comes are less than certain: (P12): I don't know that I wanna say I've been super calculated on how I've strategized this because some of it was, like I said, copying and stealing some good ideas. One of them was what we call our market bucks, our interna l currency. It was from a market up north. I was like what a great idea, let's take that one. Well, that one has worked tremendously. (P15): You know, we try to change it up every now and then; that we vary on, in case, you know say people are seeing it t hey're gonna, you know, just pass it off as, 'Oh yeah, I seen that sign a million times,' and they're not they're not gonna recognize it, you know. So we try to put it in different places where somebody might new might see it. But that seems to have help ed. Having the latitude to try new things and exercise their autonomy as managers was expressed as a way to build confidence in engaging or maintaining future behaviors. As


91 'm not afraid to Consumer Education Some of the more striking examples of perceived self efficacy were respondent statements concerning consumer education the confidence that respondents had the ability to positively influence consumer FFV purchasing through educational activities at the market. Participants discussed strategies to improve awareness of nutrition, local and seasonal produced FFVs and cooking with produce items found at the market (P2; P3; P5; P10). One participant discussed the decision to offer educational field trips at the market site, targeting outreach to youths from pre K up to college, SNAP recipients and the community at large (P3). This m arket is hosted directly on an organic production farm site in Tampa, Florida. Along with broad efforts programming on food access and nutritional disparity issues, as well as providing informational resources on SNAP/EBT and FAB. In addressing field trip offerings to the farm and market site, the respondent states: (P3): We charge lower income or charter schools less than we charge public schools. So, I feel like there' s going to be a learning curve with our product but I'm totally happy to help customers you know, get into something like that. I try recipes and I have a website, and you know, where they can learn more and stuff like that. Other managers discussed the i mpact of hosting food cooking demonstrations, building market actions/interventi initiatives reflect a measure of managerial agency.


92 (P5): Another thing that we've done . . . we do a lot of food demos, partially in conjunction with IFAS and the Family Nutrit ion Program. But also we try to do "Market meals spotlight." Which is really just that there are all of these things now that we like, we have such a variety, kind of giving people examples of how to use the products that we have. This respondent expanded on the food demo concept by sharing a plan to encourage market vendors. A jam making demonstration kit was referenced as an example to highlight a h, locally grown strawberries (P5). The participant reiterated her attitude toward . . . being able to show people . . . I mean, cooking demos in and of itself are always very helpful. And showing people what they can do with the produce and with Participant (10) shared a positive attitude toward the efficacy of food demonstrations and other educational activities at markets, but placed added emphasis on targeting youth at the market, the particular ly children of low resource, SNAP utilizing parents: (P10): And so it's more the kids, and it seems to be more important to reach the younger . . . When I say "kids," too, I mean millennials with children, and they have a greater interest in the food and c lean food. I don't think it's going to happen in two years or one year. I think it's more about as families want the clean food and want to know where it is and want to find it. And that's just something that takes time. Change takes time. Internal Rewards Program and Incentive Offerings The concept of internally incentivizing produce purchases from market vendors was not dollar for dollar token system match institutionalized incentive modelling as a way to stimulate FFV purchases, key respondents had already employed the use of some type of market rewards system (P3; P6; P12; P16). With prior exposure and the infrastructure for an incentive based


93 system, these managers expressed confidence in their ab ility to effectively integrate a pre existing model with the FAB framework (P12; P6; P16). (P12): I always kinda find comparable markets around the country and try to clean from them what kinda good standard practices are happening at this market. Some we 've included, some we've made up. We've made up some of our own programs. We have a market buck program for people, it works similar to an ATM, involves tokens that we've incorporated maybe eight, nine years ago. Targeted Messaging a nd Promotion In the pr evious section, a segment of respondents identified negative community barrier to effectively access and grow a low resource shopper presence at their markets. H ere, respondents discuss the implementation of strategies and interventions design to circumvent these barriers. One participant contextualized SNAP bias challenge and discussed how she addressed it (P7). The use of counter narrative was first tactic discu ssed in terms of efficacy and impact. The approach here was to re frame and take ownership over the narrative about SNAP and FAB. The respondent addressed the potential for FAB utilization to stimulate business and revenue not only for product eligible far mers and growers, but also all types of vendors through collateral sales (P7). This multiplier effect and its employment as a counter narrative device is provided: (P7): For every dollar somebody spends with SNAP and EBT, or SNAP and the FAB program, at my market, they generate anywhere from $1.26 to $1.36, they're a multiplier effects, which means that the money stays in the community. As it circulates, it generates that extra income. So instead of money leaving through a big box store like Walmart, it's s taying in our community. So that narrative seems to be helping in dispelling any ill will. The ability to tailor promotional messaging was also considered salient in terms of the longer term potential impact of market attendance and FAB redemption rates, w ith one


94 to bifurcate your advertising . . . Data Tracking and Accounting In accepting a FAB contract, MMs w ere expected to provide transactional monitoring, accounting for each SNAP federal benefit redeemed at point of sale. To assist with this, MMs FM Tracks, a market reporting software/app tool designed to streamline the time r equired for accounting and reporting during and after the market. Several participants identified data tracking and accounting efforts as a useful tactic to effectively administer FAB (P5; P7; P12; P17A; P17B). MMs were compelled to direct these actions f or a variety of reasons. One participant tracked data to ensure an even distribution of vendor types and to avoid too much farmer/grower duplication (P5). Hourly attendance tracking also allowed MMs to make more informed, confident decisions about the best time to open the market for optimal attendance and FAB use (P5). Participants discussed the broad benefits of implementing data transparency measures (P7; P12; P17A; P17B). Specific benefits for rigorous data collection/accounting included the ability to P17B). These respondents generally characterize scrupulous data tracking as a beneficial way to improve accountability. An effective data collection plan seemed to improve MM confidence in their ability to maintain and grow FAB. As one participant reports, rigorous data collection allows the market to pass along cleaner data to market funders, improving transparency: (P7): W e know precisely what's being taken in on the EBT side , what's being taken in on the grant side, what's being spent. We track pretty closely our vendor reimbursements. All o f that's tracked in the system. Participant (7) describes the previous difficulty in passing on hard, empirical reporting data to the mar


95 happy when they can see exactly how much money you're bringing to the community, particular These metrics are perceived to help justify the program who might have problems with it otherwise (P7). As a SNAP/EBT coordinator for two separate markets in Alachua County , one participant described a series of benefits from data transparency efforts (P Q1, PQ2). With FOG requiring stricter accounting of the use of FAB matching funds, the accountability placed on the manager is perceived to trickle down to vendors and percolates through the market culture at large: (P17B): Because I am, I am held more ac countable for this, these, this extra money coming out, the matching dollars. I have to hold the vendors more accountable. So I have to make sure that the vendors are aware that this is more serious. And then um, we're also, you know, we . . . Because this goes through the non profit, we have to keep track of everything through like tax forms too. So at the end of the year, you know, they get a tax form that says all the money they've made. All the money that they've gotten checks for, from us, from the pro gram. So . . . there's a lot more . . . I think there's a lot more accountability. As the data collection metrics track individual transactions, the number of peop le that are redeeming benefits and the number of return customers, the respondent perceived an improved sense of confidence in her ability to direct actions moving forward: (P17B): Really part of the success is just keeping track of the data. Just being able to gather that much data. That is a success in and of itself. And being able to say like, look at what this year was. Look at how much money came into this market. Look a t these, this, you know, having those statistics I think is a big part like bringing farmers markets into the modern era. Vendor Contract and Policy Enforcement The capacity of MMs to build mutually engaging and respectful relationships with their vendors was deemed highly important. Several respondents highlighted ways in which they constructed and/or enforced vendor contracts and policies (P4; P5; P7; P12; P17A; P17B).


96 Reflecting the variability in market structure and underlying philosophy, there was a relatively high degree of variance in what vendor contracts looked like and how compliance was laid out. Some markets are grower only markets, where all FFV vendors are farmers/gardeners and grow . . . the market is unique in that like unlike many of the other markets around town, everything must be done local. And primarily made or grown by the seller of it . . . sellers, only these vendors were conside red ineligible to participate in FAB and accept tokens for SNAP shoppers. Respondents offered divergent contract policy/enforcement strategies (P5; P7). Participant (5) described the outlines of the online agreement passed onto vendors at her market. The agreement was described as fairly standard and informal, with an emphasis on treating staff, customers and other vendors with respect. For a compliance system, the respondent compliance wit h the agreement results in expulsion from the market (P5). Participant (7) describes a similar policy and enforcement mechanism at her market: (P7): There are some people with whom something that's more subtle might work. Um, I have only one vendor that ba sically, almost everybody was fine, I just had one. And the way I dealt with that, and he wasn't nice to anybody, basically. So the way we dealt with it is, I initiated a new vendor agreement with a be nice clause. Basically, it said you will show respect to patrons, to each other. This is expected. If you sign this contract, you will be held to that. If you're seen not to be doing any of those things, you will be expelled. Other participants specifically addressed compliance, enforcement and contract viola tion scenarios (P12, P17A; P17B). The researcher found that these statements represented very tangible opportunities for respondents to exert a direct influence over an outcome. As such, these reflections seem to demonstrate managerial self efficacy percep tions. (P17B): I'm updating all of our vendor contracts, and I'm creating a whole new vendor contract, and I'm going to make sure that every person who is participating in the program is signing it. And then, also, just in terms of, I guess what I'm


97 trying to figure out now, as a manager is, you know, what is the penalty when somebody messes up multiple times with this money? Because you know, that's how you get shut down if it's . . . if the money is, it's not being used properly, if people are spending, for example the FAB dollars on non FAB items, you know not fresh, like Flor ida grown fruits and vegetables. The respondent here emphasizes enforcement as a significant aspect of her role as a manager. Recognizing that federal dollars are involved through the grants that provide the matching funds for FAB, the stakes for accountability increase and must be transferred and . . . I'm rewriting all of the contract and say ing this is actually binding. This is no longer just like a, you know, some paper that you're signing. This is a very important federal money situation, and Grassroots and Word o f Mouth Engagement In the pre FAB program. Here, MMs shared perspectives about some of the direct marketing/outrea ch tactics they utilized to access low resource shoppers and market shoppers broadly. These insights came as responses to two distinct interview questions: one concerning strategic changes made at market, the other regarding personal values and motivation s for MMs. Participant emphasis on grassroots and word of members established a nexus between two seemingly disparate motivations. Describing the material necessity of this strategy to improve outreach e fforts chiefly addresses a logistical control barrier (P3; P4; P5; P7; P10; P14). Two respondents provided descriptions of how they applied a word of mouth strategy at their markets: (P4): E verybody talked for the longest time about how you know, they real ly loved the market vendors, and people coming down and shopping. It was very exciting, and we also were trying to create an event kind of dealing so that people


98 could you know, be rela , like we purposefully ran our market on a Friday evening. So that peo ple could come wi th their paycheck after work. (P5): And then like community appearances and community appearances and word of mouth are always our top draws. And I still do those events. And but I have been doing them for years and I would see the people at the market on Saturday from that like several like times. And working with UF/IFAS, having like community demos. So I mean it's really, it's about being involved in the community, I think. Other managers supplemented this utilitarian frame with a view t hat direct, person to person interaction (word of mouth engagement with community members) reflected a more intrinsic motivation and value (P4; P7). Reflecting on the decision to re employ traditional, . . . because that's what we were all always led Participant (7) notes: (P7): And the best part of that is, dealing with our SNAP folks, and our program folks at the market, I know them personally. And what was fabulous about that is you cannot buy word of mouth. Those guys are the ones who go out into the community and say, this is a great pro gram. You have to come and see. I got this for this. I can stretch my food dollar. This works for me. They're great, they're friendly, everything is good. And now that is the other thing that I was fortunate in, in that my vendors are extremely friendly, v ery customer oriented. Jointly, these rationales frame MM perceptions of efficacy in using traditional grassroots outreach as a way to overcome contextual barriers and grow the FAB program overall. Loyalty , Trust and Relationship Building w ith Vendors In response to questions 2 and 5 from the instrument, certain respondents expressed they felt that the loyalty/relationship webs between themselves and vendors were a key determinant of the success of both FAB and the market broadly (P1; P2; P3; P5; P7; P14; P15; P17A; P17B). Participants (1; 5) expressed this view directly:


99 (P1): I love working with the volunteers, with the vendors and the customers. These people are more my friends more than anything else and that's what keeps me going back on a Saturday mo rning. (P5): I love the vendors, I love what I get to do, I love my co workers. Um, I mean working for a non profit isn't the most like financially amazing, uh, situation. Um, but thankfully, like it's fulfilling in other ways. Participant (15) additional and trust she cultivated with her vendors: I'm on a one on one basis basis with each of my vendors. Um, it's like one big family. Um, you know, I know them personally, they know me pers onally. Uh, you know, if there's ever any issues, you know, we'll have to, you know, reprimand anybody, so to speak, you know. Um . . . yeah, but it's just like . . . if anybody has a problem, they can come to me and I can resolve it for them right there and, then we have no issues . . . You know, 'cause I know what its like . . . you know, and I still know what it's like 'cause I still vend as well. And, um, you know . . . so I know what their needs are, and I know what the city needs from them. So, I can I do my report book [inaudible 00:14:00] and make everyone happy. So, you know, that that is a plus, is being a vendor. Because, even as if any other job, say a dispatche r for a parking company. If that man has never been behind the wheel, he's not gonna do as well as someone who has, because he knows what the roads are like out there. He knows what roads to go, you know, what works for the driver, you know. And basically that's what I do. You know, I know, from experience what works . . . 'cause it's like it's like Thanksgiving, you know, being their friends or family, you know, you know exactly what's going on (laughs). Value laden terminology like loyalty, trust, transpar ency were prevalent among respondents (P3; P5; P7). Respondents shared their strategies that reflected confidence and underlying belief that relationship building, loyalty and direct engagement between managers and vendors build a sense of efficacy and sha red commitment. Respondents describe their working relationship with vendors, the utility of consistent meetings and how the operationalization of product transparency and standards compliance builds trust and improves a sense of self efficacy. Discussing her vendors, one participant expressed gratitude for their broad engagement with SNAP, FAB and the market overall:

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100 (P3): They're they're really supportive. We actually just started a sort of a market committee with some of the vendors who are really supp ortive and really want to be involved and get more people in the door, 'cause it helps [inaudible 00:18:20] them and it helps us. So yeah, our engagement with the vendors is an important part of the market. One participant, emphasizing the importance of lo yalty and trust between vendors, administrative staff and managers said that once they complete a full application and sign a (P5). In addition to promoting vendor products, there is a managerial emphasis on education and capacity building: (P5): We also try to do . . . like at least quarterly, vendor education sessions. So like different topics that the vendors wanna know about, we use some of our community connectio ns to like do social media training and that type of thing. Another participant echoed the value of trust and relationship building: (P14): A s far as vendors go, I instituted a vendor luncheon four years ago. And at the end of the season, we all get together for a free lunch. I buy them lunch, and we have a gift exchange. And you give a gift to get a gift, and just a a camaraderie kind of thing where everybody is excited and having a good time. Cultivating Market Experiences A number of managers refl ected on how they could offer more events and craft an Experience offerings at the market were perceived as a strategy to counteract retailer competition for SNAP redemption and food shopping in general (P2; P3; P4; P5). Experiential engagement is perceived to have a positive economic stimulus lower shopper numbers, we've kicked around ideas, like making the market more friendly for,

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101 The following quotes statements describe a series of strategi es MMs have employed to provide an experiential atmosphere to attract SNAP and non SNAP community members to shop and stay. Whether hosting live musical acts, educational workshops, or FFV product cooking demonstrations, these actions provide opportunities for MMs to exhibit a measure of agency to affect performance outcomes like market attendance rates and the number of SNAP/EBT and FAB token redemptions. In addition to promoting live music and youth oriented educational activities, one participant more br a welcoming atmosphere that might encourage shoppers across all income brackets to spend more time at the site: (P2): W know, a glass of kombucha and sit for a while. And you know, enjoy their community. For that, we've kind of changed how we market the market but, you know, we make it more like an experience. As opposed to, you know, go in and grab your stuff and go. And that's, you know . . . and you're dealing with shoppers, and you're dealing with the vendors . . . And so, being able to make it warm and inviting and welcoming . . . you know, I always feel like I'm serving the SNAP shopper and trying to make them feel as comfortab le as they can. And encouraging my vendors to be the same. So, there's that as well. incorporated at their markets with varying degrees of success (P3; P4; P5; P10). Farm tours , yoga, cooking demonstrations and kombucha brewing workshops were all cited as previously used tactics. These events represent opportunities for MMs to reflect a degree of decision making autonomy to influence an outcome (increased attendance, increased S NAP redemption through FAB sales) with minimal external constraints. As participant (5) states, these efforts . . . we're always trying to think of, just more fun things where yo u can come and spend the entire Sunday there

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102 Beyond general event hosting strategies to build a broad consumer base, two respondents expressed efforts to be more targeted in their outreach of low resource shoppers (P5; P10). Both are aimed at targeted outreach to youth: (P5): W e have all these programs, so we do outreach at like the low income childcare centers. Do a quarterly like community resource fair that all the parents, um, that, I mean they don't have to come but they walk thro ugh the area to get their children. And so that's effective. (P10): It's been one of our goals to bring in more families and families with children, so we work at that all the time. We have a children's activity booth. We have a clown who comes every week. We have our children's book fair, which we just had last week. We had like a dozen authors, plus a lot of other children's activities. We really strive to make it family friendly, and we're growing that demographic. This, again, is observational. We're gr owing that demographic, and we can see it some in our SNAP sales, too. But it's something that the younger people aren't as aware of us as the older people are. It is important to note that not all respondents described perceptions of high self efficacy as it related to event hosting. The participant statements below describe external barriers to successfully implementing cooking demonstrations at the market. While the respondent notes that live music is made available, the other constraining conditions men tioned seemed to have negatively affected the sense of agency and confidence involved: (P12): We've tried engaging creating events within our event that never seems to pan out. Part of that is a time issue with coordination. What I'm talking about is bring ing in . . . for a while we tried cooking demos with local chefs. They were extremely difficult to work with and not very supportive of the ideas that we were going through. To this day, I still have a hard time with that one. I know there's other markets that have great luck with that. We just don't seem to. Now, part of me thinks it's because of the size of our market. There's just so much going on that it would get lost. (P12): We do have entertainment. Of course, that's another idea that I got from bei ng a consumer, where I'm at the grocery store I appreciate hearing music. I think music is a good influence to have anywhere, so we have music all around our market. I would have to say that the strategy for kind of bringing in other groups, the chef cooki ng, things like that, those haven't worked out so well for us.

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103 Strategic Coordination w ith Partner Organizations The preceding section detailing MM perceived control conditions/variables included an emergent theme relating to organizational partnerships. Participants noted that the lack of a highly collaborative networking infrastructure between organizations (including markets) with related mission statements was a massively constraining environmental factor. Within those parameters of perceived control, MMs offer insights to into effects that may reflect their level of efficacy and confidence in maintaining and improving FAB. Here, respondents note that seemingly unrelated organizations may have more in common than is immediately apparent and can be usefu l partners (P5; P7; P12). Participant (5) discussed local actors that have facilitated partnerships in Leon County, acts as that connector a lot of the time for s respondent also discussed building up networking capacity with the local SNAP authorizing Another participant discussed the unique organizational structure of a market in Brevard County , illustrating the opportunity for unique and novel relationships between institutions: (P7): Well, our farmer's market is a little bit different in that it's a partnership, it's a UF/IFAS program. It's one of my programs under, local food systems. We are in partnership with the county as well, with parks and rec. So the market is a joint project between us. So, our partner s will have those at their facilities, and they will go ahead and distribute distribute to distribute those to the clientele as a bridge with the program. So Health and Human Services has them, we work with them as well. The Housing Authority, we work wi th them. So it's become a community wide effort. Finally, participant (12) discussed efforts to engage both faith based organizations and health service providers to build community capacity:

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104 (P12): We try to push the end of our local food banks, churches , with food programs, things like that, any of our local health centers. We're very tied in with Lee Health here, which is our big hospital system down here. They're very supportive of us. Of course, we try to market through them as well, wherever we can, and get the word out. We're a real community oriented market in offering spaces to local community groups and nonprofits and things like that as well. We're very into that. Jointly, these strategies represent a broad based approach to exercise agency, a wa y for managers to create and direct actions to improve their own confidence in improving their resource communities and the local community at large. Table 4 1. List of thematic codes relating to perceived control and self ef ficacy Program Logistics and Constraints Internal Market Strategy Bureaucratic limitations (rules and regs) Audience segmentation and targeted messaging Capacity of market space Consumer education Communication and support from program facilitators Cultivating market experiences/activities Consumer education and exposure to nutrition and seasonal foods Data tracking and accounting Funding for equipment use and marketing Grassroots and word of mouth engagement Grocery, online retailers and other markets as competition Internal rewards program and incentive offerings Initial consumer outreach and exposure Relationship building with vendors Lack of awareness of organizational collaboration Risk taking and experimentation Locally eligible growers and producers Social media and paid advertising Organizational structure and level of support Strategic coordination with partner organizations Public support and understanding of SNAP Vendor contract and policy enforcement Staffing and time for data entry and marketing System a buse and f raud Transportation and physical access

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105 Table 4 1. Continued Program Logistics and Constraints Internal Market Strategy Trends in local food and FM interest Understanding of FAB program strategy and logistics Vendor p rofessionalism and t raining Chapter Summary This chapter reviewed key findings provided by a sample of FAB adopting FM managers in Florida. Data was collected through semi structured interviews and analyzed through application of the c onstant c omparative m ethod. The chapter was organized in three ma in sections. The first section described the population of interest and salient environmental/contextual conditions that may constrain or facilitate participant behavior. Sections two and three present MM feedback to support the core research objectives of this study. Research objective (a) aims to explore MM perceptions of perceived control in relation to FAB program engagement, maintenance and capacity for sustainable growth. Research objective (b) similarly aimed to explore MM perceptions of self efficac y in relation to FAB program engagement, maintenance and capacity for sustainable growth. Within the IBM, perceived control and self efficacy are components of the PA construct. en purpose and is considered a key determinant in predicting behavior. In each research objective section, participant feedback was cited to describe thematic factors to reflect PA perceptions. Section two, for example, presents emergently identified varia bles and factors that reflect participant control beliefs. Section three likewise elicits themes representing participant perceptions of self efficacy. Sub sections describe specific themes substantiated by direct quotations from participants. Both perceiv ed control and self efficacy perceptions invoked commentary on a

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106 range of logistical/contextual factors, including networking and resource support, experiential engagement with customers, transportation barriers, supply and demand issues, relationship buil ding and sustained funding concerns. recommendations. The researcher offers key findings, discussion and targeted recommendations for future research and practice on the topic.

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107 CHAPTER 5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS The purpose of this study was to explore how FM managers perceive their own agency to effectively access and engage low resource SNAP audiences. The study investigated how MMs identify and interpret barriers to eff ectively administer, market and sustain the FAB nutrition incentive program to SNAP shoppers. The participant sample included MMs across 13 counties in Florida that offer SNAP/EBT access at their markets and who had partnered with FOG to administer FAB. T he researcher addressed two core research objectives, split to represent the two primary components of the PA construct within the IBM: (a) explore MM perceptions of perceived control in relation to FAB program engagement, maintenance and capacity for sust ainable growth and (b) explore MM perceptions of self efficacy in relation to FAB program engagement, maintenance and capacity for sustainable growth. The c onstant c omparative m ethod was utilized to identify and explore themes related to these objectives. This chapter proceeds in three segments. First, the researcher provides an interpretive summary analysis of key results from chapter four, linking thematic findings with research literature on SNAP, FMs and nutrition incentive program use. The following s ection argues the relevancy of placing MM engagement with low resource communities within the theoretical context of the IBM and addresses study limitations. Finally, the researcher concludes the chapter with a set of recommendations for both practice and research. Summary of Key Findings: Conclusions and Implications Findings within this study address the complex and highly variable contextual conditions that influence efforts to improve nutritional food access for low resource communities. Key thematic f indings from chapter four are selected for interpretive analysis, integrating study

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108 conclusions with previous examinations from the literature to offer broader implications. This section is composed of two sub sections to reflect research objectives (a) an d (b) respectively. Research Objective A: Perceived Control Themes addressing this research objective reflect barriers that influence MMs perceived level of control over their ability to effectively administer, market and grow the FAB program at their mark . . . 2015, p. 79). Here, external, environmental factors were interpreted as either fac ilitating or resource market shoppers. Respondents identified variables that decreased their confidence in effectively accessing low resource communities through FAB engagement. The themes selecte d ranged in terms of a perceived scale of influence over market solvency and growth with low resource shoppers. For each theme, conclusions are contextualized by related literature to offer implications. Transportation a nd Physical Market Access Are a Perc eived Limitation t o FAB Growth Several respondents highlighted the limiting effects of low mobility and lack of transportation access for low resource shoppers . MMs broadly recognized that SNAP eligible populations are less likely to own personal vehicles and can be dependent on inconsistent public transportation routes to get to the market. MM respondents specified scenarios at their respective markets where transportation constrained their ability to effectively target and reach out to low resource shoppe rs, making it more difficult for SNAP shoppers to locate and physically access the market to redeem their benefits through FAB and increase consumption of FFVs. study analysis of nutritionally at risk low r accepting locations in Leon County, Florida (Wood & Horner, 2016). The researchers utilized spatial analysis techniques to gauge

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109 accessibility to FFV outlets (not exclusively FMs) in relation to walking, personal driving and public transportation. The researchers ultimately suggest that communities that are low resource, have low vehicle access and are predominately African American are significantly less likely to easily access food retail outlets (Wood & Horner, 2016). Similarly, Rigby et al. (2012) used census tract data to examine whether neighborhood characteristics related to race, income and rurality affected SNAP distribution accessibility. The researchers suggested that these neighborhood characteristics we re heavily predictive of SNAP eligible food access disparities and that the findings provided an empirical identification of the existence of food deserts and access disparity (Rigby et al., 2012). While studies have corroborated the assertion that financi al incentives to subsidize FFV point of sale cost can be effective in assisting low resource individuals improve FFV intake (Bowling, Moretti, Ringelheim, Tran & Davison, 2016) and in 2016), the prevalence of transportation barriers for low resource populations can neutralize their broader impact (Free d man et al., 2016). These and other studies are pertinent here to empirically validate transportation as a core perceptional, anecdotal , environmental constraint expressed by the MM participants. A gap, however, exists in that the majority of these studies acknowledge transportation barrier impacts in the FM context at large, or in relation to SNAP redemption or FFV intake. A targeted exa mination of physical access constraints and their influence on nutritional program efficacy and outcomes has not yet been established. While studies have applied process evaluation reviews of nutrition incentive programs to offer suggestion on improving im pact (Payne, Wethington, Olsho, Jernigan, Farris & Walker, 2013), these have focused on administrative constraints and have not yet integrated the spatial access barriers that MMs address here in this

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110 case study. This gap offers an opportunity to synthesiz e research efforts and integrate a potentially influential variable in a more targeted context. Managers Share Concern About Waning Consumer Interest i n DTC Markets, F M s a nd Local Food . The belief that both local food and FM interest were on the decline nationally and in Florida was expressed by several respondents . A segment of respondents displayed degrees of internalized anxiety or apprehensive that a national downward trend in local food from consumer either already had, or eventually would, While this concern was not mentioned in unanimity, it resonated with several managers, with a ere utilized by participants to reflect their apprehension that the longevity of their . Respondents acknowledged that this perception was observational, anecdotal and not necessarily predicate d upon empirical evidence. concerns. From 1994 to 2016, the number of FMs listed in the USDA National Farmers Market Directory increased by approximately 400 perce nt to over 8,600 markets with the total value of local food purchased from DTC markets doubling between 1992 and 2012 (USDA AMS, 2016). A 2015 report based on 2012 Census data additionally found direct to consumer markets generated $3 billion in sales reve nue, with on farm stores and FMs accounting for $2 billion, or 67 percent (USDA NASS, 2015). At the time these interviews were conducted, these data were six years old and might not have reflected more recent consumer behavior. Additionally, regional, stat e and county level consumer behavior may not reproduce national level trends. As a perceived control variable, the actual empirical existence of a declining trend in consumer

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111 interest and support for DTC outlets (FMs in particular) is arguably a lesser, se condary influence. As control beliefs may related to both material and perceived environmental barriers, the belief efficacy and sense of agency in carrying out a behavior. Organizational Structure Plays Role i o f FAB Funding Support a nd Impact Organizational market structure refers to whether a FM was privately owned and operated, supported by a municipality or county , a CRA or some combination of these. Market program and actively engaging low resource clientele. Respondents expressed their views about ucture lessened or exacerbated barriers to managing and promoting FAB. The perceived level of organizational support managers felt corresponded generally to the degree of control they felt they in operating their market and in administering FAB effectively (P2; P10). Participants also addressed market structure in relation to funding predominately to support the staffing and the time commitments required for FAB related is the fact that none of the funding has provided us a person to operate our SNAP booth, so we had to organizational structure of their market to the perceived am ount of leverage they had to obtain and retain trained staff. MMs expressed they had, or would, either use external, private funding to support trained staff or elect to use untrained volunteers once initial FAB grant funding expired.

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112 The researcher is no t aware of literature that specifically isolates market structure as a functional characteristic to measure MM perception of barriers to implementing nutrition incentive programs. Govindasamy, Zurbriggen, Italia, Adelaja, Nitzsche and Van Vranken (1998) id entified market organization characteristics in New Jersey to describe factors such as funding sources, market location, layout, criteria for location, methods of promotion and advertisement. Researchers identified a lack of municipal support as one of a f ew salient factors that inhibited market growth, suggesting alternative organization arrangements could potentially produce better outcomes ( Govindasamy et al., 1998). Participant feedback partially aligns with findings that various market conditions affe ct SNAP Roubal et al. (2016) in their surveying of MM perceptions of EBT implementation at markets, discuss funding as a barrier in that context and found that certain m arkets received external funding for their EBT programs from agencies not directly associated with the market itself. This speaks to the ways in which markets leverage funds from different sources but does not say much about market structure and how that s tructure affects attitudes, beliefs and intentions towards nutrition incentive implementation. In consumer and managerial examinations, how a market is organized and funded has not been operationalized as a variable for measurement as it relates to nutriti on incentives. The researcher suggests the incidence and directness with which participants referenced market structure as an influential factor that may constrain or facilitate FAB success warrants its inclusion as a valid object of study. The researcher offers recommendations for the examination of this variable at the end of the chapter.

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113 Research Objective B: Self Efficacy Thematic findings related to this objective reflect MM perceptions of self efficacy barriers to administering, marketing and growing the FAB program at their respective markets. Self efficacy refers to . . . rform a behavior in the represent strategic decisions MMs have considered and operationalized to address the external limitations that define control beliefs. For exa mple, where a perceived control theme might relate to low consumer awareness of nutritionally adequate and seasonally produced local foods (an external condition where a MM might initial perceive to have little control over), an efficacy belief is position & Kasprzyk, 2015). Conclusions are contextualized by relevant literature findings to offer future research implications for each theme. Consumer Education Activities Provide d Managers Opportunities t o Strategize a nd Express Self Efficacy Measures Respondents discussed strategies to improve the shopper awareness of nutrition, local and seasonally produced FFVs and cooking with produce items found at the market . These implemented. Educational measures and initiatives implemented at markers reflect self efficacy bility to effectively implement and sustain the FAB program for low resource shoppers. The belief that focused education activities in market spaces can improve nutrition indings that these efforts, combined with small monetary incentives, result in an increase in purchasing behavior and FFV intake with low resource shoppers. Abello, Palma, Waller and Anderson

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114 (2014) additionally identified that formal and non formal educat ional activities hosted at markets were a salient determinant of FM visit frequency from market shoppers. This study, however, did not specifically segment low resource, SNAP eligible shoppers from a general consumer base and so may have limited transferab ility. While studies demonstrate the utility for educational activities at markets in improving market engagement and FFV intake for consumers, the researcher was unable to find either examinations of MM perceptions of these initiatives broadly or direct examinations of how these activities affected MM self efficacy perceptions within a behavioral change context. As such, the researcher believes the results warrant continued research. Relationship Building a nd Perceived Loyalty A re Key Metrics o f Success an d Impact f or Managers Certain respondents expressed they felt that the loyalty and relationship webs between themselves, vendors and shoppers were a key determinant of the success of both FAB and the market broadly. Value laden terminology like loyalty, trust, transparency was prevalent among respondents. Respondents shared strategies that reflected confidence and underlying belief that relationship building, loyalty and direct engagement between managers and vendors built self efficacy and shared commitm ent. Respondents describe their working relationship with vendors, the utility of consistent meetings and how the operationalization of product transparency and standards compliance builds trust and improves a sense of self efficacy. These findings are co description of the results of a three year collaboration initiative to improve the outcomes of the FMNP, a coalition partnership designed to improve FFV access to low resource communities th at exhibit risk for experiencing nutritional disparities. Here, the researchers describe characteristics of collaborative engagement, networking and capacity building, suggesting these

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115 efforts improve end state outcomes for FMNP by improving fresh, locally produced FFV access for low resource shoppers (Dollahite et al., 2005). While this study describes the utility of relationship building at an institutional level, it does not address collaborative efforts between MMs and the effect those efforts have on m anagerial perceptions of self efficacy. Further development of this line of inquiry could fill this gap in literature and have broad implications for the efficacy of nutritional incentive initiatives such as FAB nationwide. Recommendations for Practice Th literature and by the recommendations of past authors when the topic has bee n explored (Amaro and Roberts, 2017; Payne et al., 2013). The researcher offers recommendations on select findings in hopes of providing futur e program administrators and policy makers increased leverage to address control and efficacy barriers for MMs an d ultimately improve programmatic outcomes for FAB and related nutrition incentive initiatives. Recommendations for practice are targeted to both program administrators and for MMs themselves. Below, the researcher offers suggest ions for program facilitato rs and FAB a dopting MMs to leverage findings and improve programmatic outcomes . On Transportation a nd Physical Market Access Barriers Larger and more strategically placed signage could be critical for markets that are off main thoroughfares. Program facil itators should consider the impact of leveraging and prioritizing marketing funds particularly for rural markets dependent on road access and where there is no natural foot traffic. Markets in these environments might be justified in qualifying for additional resources and services from program facilitators. For urban and peri urban market environments, the efficiency of public transportation is a core concern and presents a massive

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116 (and expensive) logistical challenge to getting low resource individ uals to certain market locations that are not easily accessible. Beyond the difficult and financial ly intensive option to lobby for increase d bus routes and service, SNAP and FAB adopting MMs could reach out to local food banks and faith based organization s to explore the possibility of designing and organiz ing ride share shuttles to and from the market space. If a market has yet be started, prospectice SNAP and FAB adopting MMs should seriously consider where to locate their market. If MMs are interested i n providing access to these services and have o ptions for locations, considering proximity to a downtown or high foot trafficked area should be a priority. On the Importance of Strategic Coordination w ith Partner Organizations FAB adopting p artner MMs shou ld be surveyed to measure the extent of their knowledge of actors, networks and resources based in their county that may help them access low resource populations. Given the time and resource constraints managers have, thi s survey should be designed to be simple and accessible, without multi step questions or constructs. Incentives should be offered to improve response rate. Once provided , t his data could be leveraged by program facilitators to share conventional and unconventional resources that could have a role in improving benefit use outcomes . After being collected, aggregated and synthesized, distributing this resource contact data to the partner market list serv would offer MMs a comprehensive guide for outreach to local resources. It is important that synthesized data be targeted for the end use MM, segmented by country, market type, etc. On t he Concern Over Sustained Funding for Staffing a nd Marketing Efforts Similarly, a robust database of markets and their current funding streams could be categorized and leveraged by program facilitators (now Feeding Florida) to better understand whether correlations exist between structure and manager efficacy in terms of funding. As a long

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117 characteristics, market structure, county population rates and other variables to craft targeted gers can reference. These could be specialized between regions in the state to reflect differentiated needs and capacities between urban/rural markets, etc. Recommendations for Research T hese r esearch recommendations may apply to qualitative and quantitat ive researchers that have engaged or seek to engage an under represented population segment in food access contexts generally and nutrition incentive contexts at FMs specifically. Additionally, research recommendations are offered to researchers interested in the application of PA construct and the IBM theoretical framework generally. As a formative elicitation case study, results and conclusions here are intended to lay the groundwork for future engagement with models such as the IBM and its component cons tructs ( attitude s , perceived norm, PA , etc.) to generalize variables through surveying and statistical analysis. With this understanding , t he researcher first assert s that the application of the PA construct within the IBM in this study context is appropriate and useful. Recommendations below are intended as suggestions for researchers interested in FM nutrition incentive evaluations, MMs as an under represented population of interest in food access contexts and the broader application of the IBM and the PA construct variables offered in this study. On the Utility of Formative Findings and the Generalizability of t he PA Construct a nd IBM Framework While the three core constructs within the IBM are all important determinants in the prediction of behavioral intention, the researcher found that the application of the constant comparative approach generated the emergence of themes that most appropriately reflected PA beliefs. Respondents highlighted facilitating and constraining factors and conditions the

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118 important to acknowledge that these thematic illustrations of PA beliefs cannot be considered oral intention within the IBM. Within the model, attitudes, perceived norms and PA combined are used as predictive determinants of behavioral intention. Additionally, behavioral intention itself has been suggested to be a necessary, but not entirely suffic ient determinant of a performed behavior (Montano & Kasprzyk, 2015). An individual needs knowledge and skills, facilitating environmental factors, conditions of habit and a feeling that the behavior is personally relevant to them (salience) (Montano & Kasp rzyk, 2015). In short, a fully fledged and generalizable IBM study in this context would measure more variable that just the formative PA (perceived control and self efficacy) related ones offered in this study. There is significant and novel step , however, in bringing behavioral measurement frameworks in to nutrition incentive contexts with an under represented participant segment (MMs) . Utilizing formative findings related to PA can first be used to further elicit relevant data and to eventually build more generalizable variable constructs for survey use. The researcher offers a few suggestions below based on select findings to begin this process. On t Markets Future research should aim to examine the correlative effects (if any) on event offerings and increased/sustained SNAP redemption rates. The strength of findings would be im proved if the study was longitudinal or practice d comparative analysis. A targeted surveying of SNAP support recommendations to managers. Data collection effort s could determine whether a resource community members to the market.

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119 On the Concern about Short and Long Term Availability o f Eligible Local Growers There is a need to better unders tand what factors force growers to elect for wholesale production over vending at DTC outlets. Quantitative survey research could be instrumental to help understand the scale and salience of material conditions within the state for growers to shed light on manager perceptions . This effort should specifically measure MMs about their sense of agency and efficacy with sustaining the FAB program over time. Whereas the current study measured in direct agency and efficacy variables through elicitation questions ab out barriers, survey constructs should be more explicit and ask directly about perceived control, self efficacy and agency. On the Role o f M arket Organizational Structure i n Affecting MM PA Perceptions How a market is organized and funded should be operationalized as a variable for measurement as it relates to nutrition incentives. Researchers should apply constructs to elicit feedback from MMs about whether the organizational characteristics of the mark et affect their perceptions of control, self efficacy and overall agency in reaching out to low resource market shoppers . As stated earlier, respondents often linked the organizational structure of their market to the perceived amount of leverage they had to obtain retain and pay trained personnel. Managers occasionally revert ed to external, private funding streams to provide trained staff or elect ed to utilize untrained volunteers once their grant funding expire d. Building survey variable constructs direct ly linking market structure to perceived control and self efficacy perceptions is the logical extension of the formative results described in this study.

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120 A PPENDIX A SEMI STRUCTURED INTERVIEW PROTOCOL Q1: How did you become engaged with managing a farme Probe: Have you noticed either a positive or negative shift in market traffic in the past year?) Q3: Could you talk about the organizational structure of the market? ( Prob e: Is it private, non profit or CRA supported?) Q4: What changes have you made during your tenure as market manager (marketing, signage, bringing in new vendors) that has made a noticeable impact? Q5: How would you describe your working relationship wit Q6: Were your vendors open to the introduction of FAB at the market? ( Probe: Were there any logistical issues with implementation, whether through appropriate signage or the use of tokens?) Q7: Did you introduce either the SNAP or FAB programs through any sort of formal vendor contract/agreement? Q8: Where in the (town/county) is your market located? ( location impacts transportation access for low resource community members?) Q9: What motivates you in your role as market manager? (Probe: How do you define success for this market?) Q10: What are the some of the larger limitations to your market becoming more successful? ( Probe: Do you feel that these limitations are more localized or societal in nature, ie: national trends?)

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121 APPENDIX B INFORMED CONSENT PROTOCOL University of Florida INFORMED CONSENT FORM for RESEARCH Title of Study: Evaluating Incentive Outcomes: Assessi ng the operational experience of market managers and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients with the Fresh Access Bucks incentive matching program at direct to consumer point of purchase outlets . ( IRB201702265 ) Principal Investigator: Cody Gusto Faculty Sponsor: John Diaz What are some general things you should know about research studies? You are being asked to take part in a research study . Your participation in this study is voluntary. You have the right to be a part of this study, to choose not to participate or to stop participating at any time without penalty. The purpose of research studies is to gain a better understanding of a certa in topic or issue. You are not guaranteed any personal benefits from being in a study. Research studies also may pose risks to those that participate. In this consent form you will find specific details about the research in which you are being asked to pa rticipate. If you do not understand something in this form it is your right to ask the researcher for clarification or more information. A copy of this consent form will be provided to you. If at any time you have questions about your participation, do not hesitate to contact the researcher(s) named above. What is the purpose of this study? The purpose of this study is to gain the perspective of consumers and market managers of the barriers to successful farmers markets in low resource communities. We will examine how consumer and managers can be better supported and how marketing efforts can effectively inform their target audiences to ensure they are adopting practices that will impact food access, public health and local economies/ What will happen if you take part in the study? If you agree to participate in this study, you will be asked to participate in either a structured one on one phone interview or a focus group session. Each session will take at least one hour to complete. Interview participants will be asked about 10 questions asking them to share their perspectives, insights and experiences of farmers markets, incentive programs and marketing. The focus group will contain an additional 4 to 6 participants that will be asked to participate in the same capacity utilizing the same question protocol. The sessions will be recorded for transcription and analysis, but you will not be asked to identify yourself on the recording and any incidental identifying information will be removed. Recordings will be destroyed upon completion of the study (following transcription and analysis). Transc riptions will be shared with each participant for approval and to provide opportunities to provide clarity on responses. There is minimal risk in participating in this study as extensive measure will be made to ensure anonymity and confidentiality of the participants. The only potential risk to the participant is their feedback may somehow be identified and tied to the participant but due to the nature of the questions there are no sensitive issues that will discussed. The benefits of t his study will inform efforts to expand the impacts of famers markets in low resource communities through training, education, marketing and community capacity building. The results of this study will help better equip market managers with the tools and sk ills to effectively bring in low resource patrons that become repeat customers. It will also produce information resources for consumers to better understand the assistance and venues available to enhance their access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

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122 There is a minimal risk that security of any online data may be breached, but since (1) no identifying information will be collected, (2) the online host uses several layers of encryption and firewalls [or whatever is true of your host], and (3 ) your data will be removed from the server soon after you complete the study, it is highly unlikely that a security breach of the online data will result in any adverse consequence for you. Compensation You will not receive anything for participating. If you have questions at any time about the study or the procedures, you may contact the faculty researcher, John Diaz at 813 757 2297 What if you have questions about your rights as a research participant? If you feel you have not been treated according to the descriptions in this form, or your rights as a participant in research have been violated during the course of this project, you may contact the University Institutional Review Board at ( 352) 392 0433 or via email at . study with the understanding that I may choose not to participate or to stop participating at any time without penalty or loss of benefits to which I am otherwise entitled Subject's signature_______________________________________ Date _________________ Investigator's signature__________________________________ Date _________________

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131 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). (2016). ChooseMyPlate. Retrieved from https://www.choosemyplate .gov/vegetables nutrients health United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS). (2012). Retrieved from content/uploads/2013/12/FMPP2016Report.pdf United States Department of Agricul ture, Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS). (n.d.). Farmers Markets and Direct to Consumer Marketing. Retrieved from regional/farmers markets and direct consumer marketing United States Department of Agriculture , Economic Research Service (USDA ERS). (n.d.). Overview: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Retrieved from nutrition assistance/supplemental nutrition assistance program snap/ United States Department of Agric ulture, Economic Research Service (USDA ERS). (2018). SNAP Table: FY 2018. Retrieved from nutrition assistance program snap United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service (USDA ERS). (2015). Tren ds in U.S. Local and Regional Food Systems: A Report to Congress. Retrieved from summary.pdf?v=0 United States Department of Agriculture, Food & Nutrition Service (USDA FNS). (n.d.). Wh at is Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)? Retrieved from electronic benefits transfer ebt United States Department of Agriculture, Food & Nutrition Service (USDA FNS). (n.d.). Definitions of Farmers Markets, Direct Market ing Farmers, and Other Related Terms. (n.d.). Retrieved from farmers markets direct marketing farmers and other related terms United States Department of Agriculture, Food & Nutrition Service (USDA FNS). (n.d.). Wha t Can SNAP Buy? Retrieved from food items United States Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA NASS) (2015) Local Food Marketing Practices Survey and (for All Farms data) 2012 Census of Agriculture. Retrieved from _Highlights.pdf US Census Bureau. (2018). Income and Poverty in the United States: 2017. Retrieved from ations/2018/demo/p60 263.html

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132 Ver Ploeg, M. (Ed.). (2010). Access to affordable and nutritious food: measuring and understanding food deserts and their consequences: Report to Congress. Diane Publishing. Retrieved from :// Type=ip,uid&db=edb&AN=48366398&site=eds live Wang, D. D., Leung, C. W., Li, Y., Ding, E. L., Chiuve, S. E., Hu, F. B., & Willett, W. C. (2014). Trends in dietary quality among adults in the United States, 1999 through 2010. JAMA internal medicine, 174(10), 1587 1595. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.3422 Ward, R., Slawson, D., Wu, Q., & Pitts, S. Jilcott. (2015). Associations between farmers m arket M managers' motivations and market level S upplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Electronic Benefit Transfer (SNAP/EBT) Availability and Business Vitality. Journal of agriculture, food systems, and community development, 6, 121 130. doi: 10.5304/jafscd.2015.061.010 Weinstein, E., Galindo, R. J., Fried, M., Rucker, L., & Davis, N. J. (2014). Impact of a focused nutrition educational intervention coupled with improved access to fresh produce on purchasing behavior and consumption of fruits and vegetables in overweight patients with diabetes mellitu s. The Diabetes Educator, 40(1), 100 106. Wheeler, A. L., & Chapman Novakofski, K. (2014). Farmers' markets: costs compared with supermarkets, use among WIC clients, and relationship to fruit and vegetable intake an d related psychosocial variables. Journal of nutrition education and behavior, 46(3), S65 S70. Wiseman, R. M., & Gomez Mejia, L. R. (1998). A behavioral agency model of managerial risk taking. Academy of managemen t Review, 23(1), 133 153. Wood, B. S., & Horner, M. W. (2016). Understanding accessibility to SNAP accepting food store locations: Disentangling the roles of transportation and socioeconomic status. Applied Spatial A nalysis and Policy, 9(3), 309 327. https://doi 015 9138 2 World Bank. (2017). GNI per capita, Atlas method (current US $). Retrieved from ar_hi gh_desc=false Yin, R. K. (2017). Case study research and applications: Design and methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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133 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Cody had been involved with small scale agriculture, local food systems and food access initiatives in s ome capacity for 5 years prior to applying to the University of Florida A gricultural E ducation and C ommunication m ate school at Florida State University, Cody regularly volunteered at a volunteer run food cooperative and helped to coordinate Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) drop offs at the retail space from local, organic farms in the Tallahassee area. After graduati on, Cody set out to Sonoma County, California, where he liv ed and work ed for several months at the Green String Farm & Institute (well Berkeley, California for 30 years). As a member of the institute's apprenticeship program, Cody engaged in labor intensive farm work and daily classroom discussion s on agronomy, food access, seed selection, crop physiology, land ethics/resource management, integrated weed and pest management, etc. Upon graduation from the program, Cody moved to New Orleans, Louisiana and again secured lear ning intensive sustainable agriculture internships on two separate urban farm sites the Grow Dat Youth Farm and Hollygrove Urban Farm & Market . As non profits, b education and outreach, and food /nutritional access for low resource communities. Cody eventually moved to Gainesville (and back to his native Florida) in 2015 and took a job at Frog Song Organics, then a 30 acre, certified organic fruit and vegetable production farm based in Hawthorne. Here, he of all crop planting, crop harvest, post harvest processing, product inventorying, packing shed management (ensuring product orders from restaurants, wholesale distri butors were picked, processed and packaged for specific pick up times), general equipment repair and maintenance and livestock care. On most Wednesdays and Saturdays, Cody

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134 market operator, independently loading and haulin g product in a transport van or loading trailer to vend produce at markets in St. Augustine, Winter Park, Jacksonville, Flagler Beach and Gainesville. Eventually, he delivery and pick up logistics f or clients that had subscribed to the program to receive a weekly, seasonally rotating box of produce. Cody believe s these private/non profit sector work experiences offer a unique perspective within the agricultural education, outreach and Extension base d research contexts. Not only have these experiences deepened and broadened my passion for and knowledge of agriculture and food system development, he believe s they will be indispensable to leverage research for practical impact his main goal as a prospective long term research specialist. Cody hope s to integrate his engagement with program design, development and evaluation, behavioral change theories and soc ial marketing strategies within contexts related to consumer education, community food system development, farmer decision making (related to marketing and value adding opportunities) and food access.