Physician Assistant M.S.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Schulze Michener, Mary


Food insecurity – a lack of food required for a healthy and productive life – affects approximately 150 million households in the United States alone (Coleman-Jensen, Rabbit, Gregory, & Singh, 2018). The implications of this are numerous – as individuals who are “food insecure” have a statistically increased risk of numerous health conditions and disorders. In an effort to combat the burden of food insecurity, organizations such as the Supplemental Assistance and Nutrition Program (SNAP) have been created to provide increased access to food items. Furthermore, numerous state organizations have developed additional programs, which incentivize SNAP users to purchase nutrient rich foods like fruits and vegetables. One such program, Market Bucks, provides a dollar-for-dollar match on SNAP dollars used at select Minnesota based farmers markets. The purpose of this project was twofold: (1) to identify demographic, physical, and/or psychosocial factors contributing to the decreased usage in rural areas and (2) to evaluate potential solutions to help overcome these barriers. A survey was distributed to SNAP/Market Bucks users at participating farmers markets, which assessed the frequency of farmers market and Market Bucks uses, the perceived benefits of the Market Bucks program, and the perceived barriers to Market Bucks usage. Demographic information was also collected. A total of 17 responses were received – all of which were from rural markets. Due to both the anticipated and unanticipated limitations of the survey process, the small survey response rate left the research team unable to draw any statistically significant conclusions. The limited survey data was used to make inferences about demographic, spatial-temporal, and psychosocial factors that may be contributing to decreased Market Bucks usage in rural areas. Based on the inferences made by the research team and the findings described in the literature, suggestions for improving the Market Bucks program and for further research are offered.

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Physician Assistant

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Primary Care Commons