Ohio Produce Perks Evaluation

Ohio Produce Perks Statewide Evaluation

Produce Perks is Ohio’s nutrition incentive program and as statewide evaluators, we are part of the Ohio Nutrition Incentive Network (ONIN). Produce Perks empowers SNAP recipients to purchase fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables from Ohio farmers’ markets and grocery stores across the state. The program provides a dollar-for-dollar match for shoppers using SNAP/EBT to buy fresh produce. The program operates at more than 100 locations. 

To learn more about who funds this work, please click here.

For data briefs and publications related to Ohio Produce Perks, click here.

For the 2018 Statewide Produce Perks Data Brief, click here.

The Swetland team, led by Dr. Darcy Freedman, is comprehensively evaluating various aspects of Produce Perks by capturing data and identifying opportunities for increased impact and program advancement. Through this project, they will strengthen the existing nutrition incentive programs and inform the development of new, state-of-the-art strategies to increase affordable, healthy food access for individuals and families across the state of Ohio. In addition to its ongoing evaluation of the program, the Swetland Center’s work around Produce Perks includes case studies, cross-sectional surveys, and pragmatic trials.

Retail Case Studies 
The retail case studies will investigate the core elements of health food incentive program implementation in diverse grocery retail sites in different geographic contexts. The goals of the retail case studies are to identify core elements that contribute to the successful implementation of nutrition incentive programs in diverse retail sites, different geographic contexts (urban and rural) and unique business models. as well as the development and dissemination of an electronic toolkit describing best practices that can be used in states that want to implement similar programs in grocery stores. The team will begin six case studies (four independent retailers and two regional chains) in early 2019. These studies will be carried out through the duration of the year and finished by 2020.

Cross-Sectional Surveys 
The goal of the cross-sectional surveys is to identify predictors of incentive use at both retail and direct-to-consumer (e.g., farmers’ markets) settings and to identify fruit and vegetable consumption among various program users and non-users within the different settings. 

Some of the questions the surveys will try to answer include: 
•    What factors predict use of different healthy food incentive programs among SNAP recipients?
•    What is the relationship between use of different health food incentive program models (e.g., Direct-to-Consumer, grocery store) on fruit and vegetable consumption among SNAP recipients?

The Swetland Center is drafting the survey and has plans to recruit and train survey collectors. Data collection is scheduled to take place in late 2019.