The City of Hot Springs is being recognized as a Thriving community by the Arkansas Coalition for obesity Prevention. Hot Springs has been successful in a multitude of areas such as increasing access to locally grown produce by increasing local farmer/vendor participation at the Historic Downtown Farmers Marker. Hot Spring has expanded two community gardens and now has the participation in nutrition assistance programs by offering screen and enrollment applications at the farmers market. Hot Springs also provides outreach events with the DHS SNAP van at the Hot Springs School District outreach events and at the farmers markets.
The historic downtown farmers market was selected as one of six pilot markets to implement a doubling incentive for customers who use SNAP at the market. The program saw a significant increase in SNAP customer participation. IN 2014 there were 61 transactions with total sales of $732.05 in 13 weeks and in 2015 there were 377 SNAP transactions with total SNAP sales of $4,743.28 in 24 weeks, the doubling incentive was depleted by September. The Growing Health communities of Hot Springs Nutrition Education team presented evidence-based nutrition education programs to community based programs and reached over 3,500 people directly and indirectly in 2015. Sites included schools, pre-schools, after schools, adult education, food assistance boxes, and other community venues.
Hot Springs offers a two four-week educational series on breastfeeding and early childhood nutrition were presented at the farmers market. In closing, Hot Springs has hosted a second annual Food Day event during the month of October which had a tremendous increase in volunteers, partners and sponsors.