(Posted Aug. 8, 2019)
For the second year, Madison County WIC is providing $20 to active WIC participants to buy fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs at local farmers’ markets.
The USDA started the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) in 1992 to increase consumption of local fruits and vegetables by low-income mothers and families. In 2012, the program provided 1.7 million WIC families with fresh produce, resulting in $14.3 million of income for small farmers across the country.
WIC is hosting a farmers’ market from 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 15 in Madison County Public Health’s parking lot, 306 Lafayette St., London. The market is open to the public. WIC vouchers will be distributed to WIC participants during market hours. Madison County WIC has a limited number of vouchers, so they will be distributed while supply lasts.
WIC Farmers’ Market vouchers come in a booklet with four sheets worth $5 each. WIC participants are encouraged to spend them at the market where they are distributed to ensure they have access to vendors who are certified to accept WIC. Vendors who are certified to accept WIC coupons will display a sign stating “2019 FMNP Coupons Accepted Here.” The coupons are valid through Oct. 31, 2019.
Among the fruits, vegetables and herbs authorized for purchase with the coupons are apples, watermelon, berries, peaches, broccoli, lettuce, peppers and carrots. Area farmers’ markets that have WIC Farmers Market vendors include the Saturday London market and the Wednesday Washington Court House market. The Procter Center Store also accepts WIC Farmers’ Market vouchers.
Anyone who is eligible for WIC but not an active participant can call the health department at (740) 852-3068 to schedule an appointment. WIC offers a variety of services including supplemental food packages, nutrition counseling, breastfeeding help, and referral to other services. WIC foods can save a family $40 to $100 a month on groceries.
In addition to vendors, the Aug. 15 farmers’ market event will feature cooking demonstrations and taste tests by the Ohio State University James Mobile Education Kitchen. Also planned are a frozen treat truck from Huntington Bank, health screenings by Madison County Public Health, car seat safety checks by Child Passenger Safety Technicians, and other kid friendly activities.
WIC participants should check in at the WIC table to receive their coupons. Other patrons will be able to use cash or card to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.
Farmers who sell fruits, herbs or vegetables can sign up to be authorized as a WIC Farmers’ Market vendor. Farmers who think they are eligible can contact Shelly Thomas at the Ohio Department of Health at firstname.lastname@example.org or (614) 644-8481.
For more information, contact Lauren Robinson, director of WIC, at email@example.com or (740) 852-3065, ext. 1529.