By Karen Dela Cruz
The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) wrapped up this week! FMNP is a valuable program that benefits WIC families, local farmers, and the community. Between June 14 and August 20, PHFE WIC gave out $570,000 worth of fruit and vegetable vouchers to 28,500 WIC participants ($20 per family) at sixteen farmers’ markets in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
WIC FMNP is an annual program established by Congress in 1992 and funded by the United States Department of Agriculture to provide locally grown fruits and vegetables to WIC participants while promoting the awareness and use of farmers’ markets.
Summer 2018 participating farmers’ markets:
Special thanks to all of the farmers’ market managers and staff for their support of WIC and accommodation to make this a successful FMNP season.
Adams & Vermont Farmers’ Market
Alhambra Farmers’ Market
Crenshaw Farmers’ Market
Cerritos Farmers’ Market
Downtown Anaheim Farmers’ Market
Downtown Santa Ana Farmers’ Market
East Hollywood Farmers’ Market
East Los Angeles Farmers’ Market
Echo Park Farmers’ Market
Gardena Farmers’ Market
Kaiser Harbor City Farmers’ Market
La Cienega Farmers’ Market
Placentia Farmers’ Market
Pomona Valley Farmers’ Market
Rosemead Farmers’ Market
West Covina Farmers’ Market
PHFE WIC teamed up this year with Los Angeles Department of Social Services (DPSS) and Orange County Department of Social Services to offer CalFresh and Medi-Cal enrollments to eligible families onsite at select farmers’ markets. Champions for Change also joined WIC at several farmers’ markets to spread healthy messages to families.
Many families who went to the farmers’ market for WIC FMNP also had the opportunity to double their cash, CalFresh EBT, or WIC fruit and vegetable voucher up to $20 through the Market Match program, which continues year round at select locations. To find a farmers’ market with Market Match, visit fmfinder.org.
What is it like to go to a farmer’s market?
A farmers’ market is an outdoor market with many vendors that have canopies set up where they sell various products such as organic fruits and vegetables, bread, cheese, jams, hummus, flowers, as well as cooked food such as tacos, tamales, dumplings, popcorn, and more. Some locations even have live music and pet adoptions. Local farmers sell their organic fruits and vegetables at the market, and talk to customers about their farms and produce. Many will offer samples, give cooking tips, and teach customers to pick produce that is ripe and ready to eat. Going to the farmers’ market can be a fun learning experience for all ages.
FMNP benefits the local economy
In addition to providing healthful foods to WIC participants, FMNP is beneficial to farmers and the local economy. This summer, WIC FMNP drew an extra 100 – 450 families to each farmers’ market on their days of operation, increasing each local farmer’s sales.
WIC will be back
The next WIC FMNP season starts summer 2019. Follow PHFE WIC on Facebook and Instagram and sign up for WIC text messaging to be the first to hear about the Farmers’ Market program and other special events.
WIC encourages families who received the $20 vouchers for fruit and vegetables to use them before they expire on November 30, 2018.