This morning I received a response to my inquiry about the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) from State WIC Director, Rhonda Buntrock. Her response was that the State has not pursued the program “[D]ue to our very short growing season and the limited areas that could benefit from the program.”
I went back to the WIC FMNP FAQ and found that there are a number of states with as short (at least in some, if not all areas), or shorter growing seasons than ours participating in the program: Iowa, Minnesota, Alaska, Montana, Wisconsin, Michigan. I wrote back indicating this (politely, nicely), and also asking if there was a critical mass of markets, customers, or WIC recipients that would make the program more feasible.
My next project is to do a little more quick research on the number of WIC participants in and around areas where farmers markets operate. I’m thinking instead of badgering Rhonda with that information, I’ll pass it on to my District 17 Senator Ben Nesselhuf and see what he can do with it.
Do give a call or e-mail to the State WIC office and/or your representatives in Pierre asking that we implement this program in South Dakota. Rhonda Buntrock’s e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org