Farmers Market Nutrition Program Checks Now Available for Iowa WIC Recipients, Low-Income Seniors
Program assists Iowa WIC recipients and lower-income seniors in obtaining fresh and nutritious local produce while building market demand for Iowa farmers
DES MOINES, Iowa (June 1, 2023) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig announced today that Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) checks are now available for eligible Iowa WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) recipients and low-income senior citizens. The programs provide eligible Iowans with checks that can be redeemed for fresh produce at authorized farmers markets and farm stands between June 1 and October 31, 2023.
“Farmers market vendors across Iowa are providing nutritious food for consumers and these checks help Iowans in need gain better access to locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs,” said Secretary Naig. “Not only are we helping our neighbors obtain and enjoy fresh and delicious food, but we are supporting and building markets for Iowa farmers.”
The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program provides eligible WIC recipients with six checks valued at $5 each, for a maximum benefit of $30. No change is provided. The checks will be distributed statewide on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible families may receive checks from local WIC agencies. A combination of state and federal funds are used to make benefits available to more than 25,000 eligible Iowa WIC recipients this year.
The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program provides ten checks valued at $5 each to eligible senior citizens, for a maximum benefit of $50. No change is provided. The checks are available through the Area Agency on Aging offices and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. A combination of state and federal funds will be used to make benefits available to more than 18,000 eligible Iowa seniors this year.
FMNP checks may only be used to purchase fresh, unprepared produce. They cannot be used to purchase products such as popcorn, ornamental pumpkins, gourds, baked goods, eggs, jam or jelly, nuts, plants, flowers, crafts, etc. Honey may be purchased only with senior citizen FMNP checks. FMNP checks must be signed at the time of the purchase. The certified vendor must be present to accept the FMNP checks.
To date, 108 farmers markets and 96 farm stands have signed up to participate in the program this year. A directory of participating locations can be accessed on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website and both consumers and vendors can learn more on the program’s website.
More than $15,000,000 in WIC and Senior FMNP dollars that support local Iowa farmers have been redeemed over the past three decades.
The Farmers Market Nutrition Programs are administered through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in partnership with the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services and the Iowa Department on Aging. For more information on participating in the program, contact John Krzton-Presson at 515-725-1179 or john.krzton-presson@IowaAgriculture.gov.