As national and local policies promote farmers' markets (FMs) in underserved communities, it is important to understand stakeholder perspectives. Through in-depth interviews, this study describes the views of 22 stakeholders in Pennsylvania about FMs as a solution to food access in low-income areas. We found that stakeholders view FMs as a promising public health nutrition intervention, as a political symbol of commitment to local food systems, and as an economic engine to support farmers and community development. Tensions emerge where these roles conflict: (1) FMs must be profitable while providing affordable foods to low-income customers; (2) FMs require careful planning to succeed; and (3) though politicians may seek a "silver bullet" solution, FMs are just one part of a comprehensive strategy to promote food access and economic revitalization in underserved neighborhoods.
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- farmers' markets
- food access
- food policy