So, I was looking at other possibilities for allowing folks getting nutrition/food aid to use those dollars at the Farmers Market (in addition to the EBT/food stamps program I’m working on, or in case the red tape on that is insurmountable).
One of the possibilities is the USDA’s Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Farmers Market Nutrition program, described below:
Eligible WIC participants are issued FMNP coupons in addition to their regular WIC food instruments. These coupons can be used to buy fresh, unprepared fruits, vegetables and herbs from farmers, farmers’ markets or roadside stands that have been approved by the State agency to accept FMNP coupons. The farmers, farmers’ markets or roadside stands then submit the coupons to the bank or State agency for reimbursement. [USDA WIC FMNP FAQ]
But, when I looked further, what I found was pretty sad: though the federal government provides much of the funding for the WIC Farmers Markets Nutrition Program, a gander at the actual list of grant levels by state shows that South Dakota wasn’t even participating as of August 2008, though thirty-eight other states and five tribal organizations do.
We don’t even have a contact person for the program. But we do have a state WIC Director, and I’d like to encourage South Dakota residents, farmers market vendors and managers, etc. to contact her and ask about the WIC Farmers Market Nurtrition Program in South Dakota.
Heck, even if you’re not a vendor or a market manager or a recipient of food aid–if you like fresh, local food, and you want to see farmers be able to make a living growing and producing it, your help in instituting this program in South Dakota will be a good step to ensure the viability of your local food economy.
Contact Rhonda Buntrock, WIC Director
firstname.lastname@example.org or (605) 773-4786 or toll free in state: 800-738-2301