Perceptions of the double value coupon program in southern Illinois

Dominique M. Rose, Saran Donahoo, Justin T. McDaniel, Dawn Null, Michelle McLernon, Aaron J. Kruse-Diehr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Purchasing produce at farmers markets represents one method by which individuals can purchase and have access to healthful and seasonal fruits. Despite the extension of nutrition assistance programs to local farmers markets, fruit and vegetables consumption has remained below the recommended guidelines, specifically in rural geographical locations. Statement of purpose: The purpose of the study was to explore the aspects of the Link Up Illinois Double Value SNAP Nutrition Incentives Program (DVCP) and its effects on food selection at rural farmers markets for individuals enrolled in nutrition assistance programs. Methods/approach: The current study uses a qualitative methodology in order to uncover barriers local health departments and farmers markets face to implementing the DVCP in their communities and to discover the perspectives of low-income individuals who utilize the DVCP. This paper explores the organizational and community member perceptions of the DVCP and its administration. Semi-structured interviews and one focus group were conducted with health educators from county health departments, DVCP stakeholders, farmers market managers, local farmers, and residents who used the DVCP. A purposeful sampling method was used, intentionally selecting individuals with lived experiences of the research objective. Data were analyzed using a three-cycle coding process, then categorized into overarching themes until thematic saturation was reached. Results: There were a total of 19 individuals who participated in the study. Five themes and four subthemes emerged from data analysis, including organizational capacity, exposure to the DVCP, purchasing power, DVCP advancements, and values. Conclusion/implications: These findings contextualize the facilitators and barriers of multiple stakeholders when implementing nutrition assistance programs at farmers markets. Other similar “double value” programs can utilize these lessons when seeking to increase participation of underrepresented populations at local farmers markets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1125069
JournalFrontiers in Public Health
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful for their partnership with the Health Departments in the Illinois 12th Congressional District, The Jackson County Health Department, the Neighborhood Co-Op, and the Carbondale Farmers Market. Contents of this manuscript have previously appeared online in the lead authors dissertation.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Rose, Donahoo, McDaniel, Null, McLernon and Kruse-Diehr.


  • facilitators and barriers
  • farmers market
  • food access
  • food environment
  • nutrition disparities
  • stakeholder engagement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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