Community Incentives

2002 Annual Report for LNE01-149

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2001: $79,577.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2004
Matching Non-Federal Funds: $79,640.00
Region: Northeast
State: Washington, DC
Project Leader:
Julie Adkisson
Capital Area Food Bank

Community Incentives


The “Community Incentives” project was designed as a powerful model demonstrating the value of providing incentive payments to farmers, establishing a “producers-only” farmers market in a low-income urban area unaccustomed to access to fresh produce and other farm products. These incentives encouraged farmers to participate in providing nutritious foods in low-income areas.

Context for “Community Incentives,” allowing us to create and advertise the Farmers Market in the first place, has been our supportive network of community-based agencies, which are members of the Food Bank. Flowing from context are the key components of the project, beginning with the Anacostia Farmers Market in Southeast Washington, managed by CAFB originally (see Changes in Plan of Work) in cooperation with the Union Temple Baptist Church and with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s organic Clagett Farm, located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Since the market opened in 1999, it has provided high-quality, farm-fresh produce to a community that otherwise has very little access to healthy, fresh foods, and which generally has an uninformed familiarity with local agriculture.

The Anacostia Farmers Market is one of the few producers-only markets in Washington, D.C. that is located in a majority African-American neighborhood, thus necessitating a culturally tailored product mix, advertising campaign and organizational structure that differs from markets with customer bases from other ethnic groups. Additionally, the nature of a producers-only farmers market, in contrast to a wholesale market such as RFK Open Air Market, requires a slightly different strategy for developing and promoting the seasonal and local nature of the products available. These characteristics of the Anacostia Farmers Market are just a few of the differences facing producers only markets in low-income urban areas that render many direct marketing strategies and guides only marginally helpful.

Objectives/Performance Targets

a.) The Farmer Target was designed to provide incentives and originally was slated to guarantee at least $500 in income a week for each farmer participating, reimbursed through the grant. During the 2002 season, income guarantees were increased to $750 to insure farmer participation.

b.) The Low-Income Consumer Target: To improve sales and attendance at the Anacostia Farmers Market and to implement a Food Stamp/EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) sales tool at the market for customer ease and to boost market sales.


Sales for the Anacostia Farmers Market were slow during the 2002 season and the lack of increased attendance can in part be attributed to the forced relocation of the market from 2101 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE to 2500 Alabama Avenue, SE due to complications with the owner of the original market site. Once the new site was established, volunteers distributed flyers, advertisements in local newspapers, and free PSAs obtained through local radio stations created interest in the Farmers Market at the new location. Establishing a new location, however, takes time. Customers who expected to see the Farmers Market at its old location did not necessarily seek it out at first in its new spot, resulting in lower sales this season than expected.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Use of Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) technology sales at the Farmers Market has been a challenge. This season the total use amounted to $97.35, less than the $135 of the previous season. The District government could not provide a hand-held EBT device that would streamline the use of EBTs for produce and other purchases.

In year two, we increased the maximum reimbursement to participating farmers to $750 per market week, and as a result the reimbursement from Northeast Region SARE that was requested on February 03, 3003 totaled $28,475.90.


Andrea Merritt
From the Ground Up (FGU) Coordinator
Capital Area Food Bank
645 Taylor Street, NE
Washington, , DC 20017
Office Phone: 2025265344
Susan Topping
Program Associate-Anacostia Farmers Market
Capital Area Food Bank
645 Taylor Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017
Office Phone: 2025265344
Milton Armstrong

Director, Union Temple Soul Bowl Food Program
Union Temple Baptist Church
1225 W Street, SE
Washington, DC 20020
Office Phone: 2026788822
Michael Heller
Clagett Farm
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
11904 Old Marlboro Pike
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
Office Phone: 3016274662