The New York State Farmers Market Nutrition Program is a federally funded and state administered program, created to provide fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables to WIC participants and low income seniors, and to expand the awareness and sales at farmers markets. FMNP provides $4 checks redeemable for fresh fruits and vegetables at all of our Greenmarket locations. In 2013, $2.29 million worth of FMNP checks were redeemed by Greenmarket producers.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) provides Federal grants to States for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low income women who are pregnant or have small children and are found to be at nutritional risk. To offer foods that are lower in fat, higher in fiber, and more culturally appropriate, there was a refinement to the WIC food package in 2009. One of the changes made was to offer more fruits and vegetables through monthly Vegetable and Fruit checks. These checks are distributed in increments of $6, $10, and $15 and can be used to purchase fresh, frozen and canned vegetables and fruits.
Since the summer of 2009 in New York State these checks can be redeemed for fresh fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets. This represents a significant revenue stream for farmers and crucial resource for families, as in New York State alone there will be $33 million distributed annually compared to just over $5.3 in FMNP.
Thanks to an incentive program funded by the Wholesome Wave Foundation, $24,014, an increase from $19,000 in 2012, of WIC V&F checks were redeemed by Greenmarket farmers in 2012.