6. Language barriers between market staff and customers

Available resources:

  • HIP flyers in multiple languages
  • Need interpreters? Want to hire someone to translate materials into additional languages? Grant money for hiring SNAP support at markets is available through Massachusetts Farmers Markets (MFM), and includes interpretation and translation needs. Contact Caroline at MFM for more info, or ask Mia at CISA if you need help.

Learnings from market managers:

  • Provide signage and “HIP tips” in multiple languages.
  • Reach out to community organizations who work with people who speak other languages. Coordinate with these organizations to set up market tours welcoming them to the market and showing how HIP works, in their preferred language. (Markets in Amherst, Belchertown, and Northampton should contact Healthy Hampshire for help; ask CISA for help getting started at other markets, or if you need someone to lead the tour!)

Helpful phrases:

  • Making sure to speak slowly and enunciate carefully can help with understanding in certain circumstances
  • When talking with community organizations: “I manage the _______ farmers’ market on _______ (insert market day) between March and December. I wanted to let you know that we accept SNAP and have vendors processing HIP. Are you familiar with HIP? We’d love it if you would help us spread the word about it, to help folks access their benefit and expand the customer base here

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