By the WIC Farmers’ Market Team
The hugely successful WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) wrapped up this week. The FMNP is a valuable program that benefits WIC families, local farmers and the community. Between May 15 and August 2, PHFE WIC staff gave out $570,000 worth of fruit and vegetable vouchers to 28,500 WIC participants ($20 per family) at fourteen 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 2019 participating farmers’ markets:
A special thanks goes to all of the farmers’ market managers and staff for their support of WIC and another successful FMNP season.
Adams & Vermont Farmers’ Market
Cerritos Farmers’ Market
Downtown Anaheim Farmers’ Market
East Los Angeles Farmers’ Market
Echo Park Farmers’ Market
Gardena Farmers’ Market
La Cienega Farmers’ Market
Monterey Park Farmers’ Market
Pico Rivera Farmers’ Market
Pomona Valley Farmers’ Market
Rosemead Farmers’ Market
Tustin Farmers’ Market
West Covina Farmers’ Market
Wilmington Farmers’ Market
PHFE WIC teamed up this year with Los Angeles Department of Social Services (DPSS) to offer CalFresh and Medi-Cal enrollments to eligible families onsite at select farmers’ markets.
Many families who went to the farmers’ market for WIC FMNP also had the opportunity to double their cash and CalFresh EBT through the Market Match program, which continues year round at select locations. To find a farmers’ market with Market Match, visit fmfinder.org.
WIC also is working with SEE-LA (Sustainable Economic Enterprises of LA) on their FRESH FUNDS program that matches monthly WIC fruit and vegetable checks up to $10 at the Crenshaw Farmers’ Market at the Baldwin Hills Mall. This program is funded by a generous contribution by the “sweetgreen” salad eatery chain.
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 2020. 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, 2019.