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Day At The Market

Northeast Market Patron Survey

Northeast Market Patron Survey

Date: February 8, 2023

To: Ms. Barbara Bates-Hopkins and Dr. Norma Kanarek
From: Sofia Velculescu
Re: Northeast Market Patron Survey

This summer, I had the privilege to work with you at Day at the Market, an initiative organized under your leadership and the auspices of the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health and Engineering. For me this was an opportunity to engage and deepen the connection with the Baltimore community, while learning from community members about their experiences and needs in the areas of nutrition and health care. In this context, I conducted a survey about the Day at the Market, with the aim to find out what is working and what could be improved to better serve the community through this initiative. The main findings of the survey are summarized below.

Twenty individuals agreed to complete our survey over several days in 2022. Of the individuals surveyed, the vast majority (17) were African American, 2 were of Asian descent, and one was white. This highlights that the Baltimore Day at the Market is accomplishing its goal of interacting with the community in East Baltimore, which is predominantly African American. Of the people surveyed, 13 were women and 7 were men. This indicates that the Day at the Market attracts a largely representative combination of genders, with a slightly higher concentration of women (65 percent) compared to men (35 percent).

As to the age composition of the people visiting the Day at the Market and agreeing to participate in our survey, 6 were under the age of 40, 11 were between the ages of 40-65, and 2 were older than 65. This suggests that the Day at the Market attracts mainly middle-aged/working-aged community members rather than younger or older individuals. Interestingly, the number of community members who were familiar or unfamiliar with Day at the Market was evenly split (10 and 10). Those familiar with the Day at the Market had visited most if not all of the booths and enjoyed all the offerings at the Market. Those unfamiliar with the Day at the Market had not visited the booths and did not know what to expect but were curious to find out more.

Overall, our survey results highlight that Day at the Market is successful with reaching out to the African American community of East Baltimore, including both men and women, especially those of middle age. Nevertheless, coming to the NE Market did not translate into automatically knowing about “Day at the Market” programming. Customers familiar with Day at the Market, however, enjoyed the friendly and positive atmosphere of the Market and its varied and healthy offerings. At the same time, on any given day, the market is able to attract new participants.

The survey also highlights several areas that could be improved. Recommendations were as follows.

Northeast Market:

  • Additional advertising of the Day at the Market through the community could help attract more people to Day at the Market and to the Market itself.
  • To attract the older generations, better transportation and more areas to sit and congregate could be considered.
  • Surveyed individuals also noted that air conditioning at the Market could help attract and retain participants.
  • Offering healthier food options from vendors, such as fruit juices and other specific foods, was also recommended by participants.

Northeast Market Management and Day at the Market

  • More could be done to reach the younger community members, including through advertising through social media and other online platforms.

Day at the Market

  • Finally, while individuals surveyed appreciated the information offered by Johns Hopkins staff on health education and disease prevention, they indicated that more information about HIV prevention and treatment, and pharmaceuticals could be helpful.

In sum, the Day at the Market is a helpful initiative to engage with the East Baltimore community, which is appreciated by participants of all genders, races, and ages. Our survey outlines a few improvements that could be made by the program, Day at the Market and the Northeast Market to make this effort even more impactful.