Fruit in bins at farmer's market

Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods seminar

The next Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods (PRCHN) seminar will focus on FM Tracks, a new app created by Darcy Freedman, associate director of PRCHN.

The seminar will be held Wednesday, Oct. 12, from noon to 1:15 p.m. in the ground floor conference room of the BioEnterprise Building.

FM Tracks allows farmers’ market managers, network managers and healthy food incentive network managers to track transaction and other data quickly and easily in a standardized format.

Headshot of Darcy Freedman
Darcy Freedman

Farmers’ markets have become a proven community-level intervention to increase access to healthy foods in underserved communities. As more and more farmers’ markets begin to accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, the task of tracking SNAP benefit transactions falls to market managers.

Federal policy initiatives such as the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program support implementation of these interventions to improve healthy food access among low-income populations receiving SNAP benefits. However, there are few common metrics across communities, which creates a challenge when evaluating the impact of these types of interventions across sites. FM Tracks addresses this gap.

This seminar, led by Freedman, will describe the development and dissemination of FM Tracks technology, which includes an app and website, looking at adoption rates at farmers’ markets located throughout the United States. Then, Freedman will dive deeper to explore trends in use of farmers’ market and healthy food incentive programs among SNAP recipients in Greater Cleveland.

In addition to her role at PRCHN, Freedman is associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics and social work at CWRU. Her applied research examines the influence of community food environments on health and wellbeing with an emphasis on strategies to promote health equity. She leads four federally funded studies focused on the intersection of food access and health outcomes. She developed FM Tracks technology in partnership with Wholesome Wave, a national non-profit focused on healthy food incentive programming.