Ohio Produce Perks Evaluation

Logo for Produce Perks Midwest
Produce Perks Midwest

Produce Perks is Ohio’s nutrition incentive program and as statewide evaluators, we are part of the Ohio Nutrition Incentive Network (OHNIN). 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 and program operations vary per location. 

To view the 2019 Produce Perks Impact Report, click here.

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 statewide evaluation project, the research team will analyze data, conduct evaluation studies, and collaborate with partners to develop innovative, community-based 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 healthy 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. Ohio is a leader in SNAP incentive programming, having offered the Produce Perks program at farmers’ markets since 2010. In late 2017, programming expanding into retail locations to increase access for SNAP customers to utilize the program. 

The development and dissemination of materials is a primary goal of this evaluation project, which would include best practices that can be utilized in states that want to implement similar programs in grocery stores. Data collection will occur from April 2019 – June 2020 with a research goal of completing six individual case studies on participating retails. 

Cross-Sectional Surveys 

The goal of the cross-sectional surveys is to identify predictors of incentive use (Produce Perks program) 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 and topics 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?
  • Self-efficacy related to purchasing, preparing, and consuming fruits and vegetables
  • Food shopping patterns and preferences


For any questions regarding the Produce Perks program or evaluation studies, please contact Lauren Vargo at lnv10@case.edu.