WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Act

Date: 21 Nov 2008 | posted in: agriculture | 0 Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestmail

The WIC Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is a small program but a significant program because it acknowledges the role of farmers’markets in sustaining small farmers and local communities.

The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is associated with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, popularly known as WIC, which is administered in cooperation with the States by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of USDA. WIC provides supplemental foods, health care referrals and nutrition education at no cost to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding post-partum women, and to infants and children up to 5 years of age, who are found to be at nutritional risk.

The WIC FMNP was established by Congress in July 1992. It was created to accomplish two goals:

1.Toprovide fresh, nutritious, unprepared foods (such as fruits and vegetables) from farmers’ markets to women, infants and children who are nutritionally at risk.

2.To expand the awareness and use of farmers’ markets by consumers.

In 2009, about 2.2 million recipients received farmers’ market benefits. Coupons redeemed through the FMNP resulted in over $20 million in revenue for farmers in 2009.  More than 17,000 farms, 3,600 farmers markets, and 2,600 roadside stands are authorized to accept WIC FMNP coupons.

FMNP funds are provided through a legislatively mandated set-aside in the WIC program appropriation. Federal funds support 70 percent of the total cost of the program. States operating the FMNP must match the Federal funds allocated to them by contributing at least 30 percent of the cost of the program, except that, if justified and approved by FNS, Indian State agencies may receive a lower rate, but not less than 10 percent. The matching funds can come from State, local, or private sources. A State agency can also count funds used to support similar farmers’ markets operating in the States in meeting the match requirement. States may issue Farmers’ Market coupons to other groups, such as elderly persons or older children, with the matching funds they provide.

WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Act of 1992


This Act may be cited as the `WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Act of 1992′.


The purpose of this Act is to authorize grants to be made to State programs designed to–

(1)provide resources to women, infants, and children who are nutritionally at risk in the form of fresh nutritious unprepared foods (such as fruits and vegetables), from farmers’ markets; and

(2) expand the awareness and use of farmers’ markets and increase sales at such markets.


Subsection (m) of section 17 of the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (42 U.S.C. 1786(m)) is amended to read as follows:

(m)(1)Subject to the availability of funds appropriated for the purposes of this subsection, and as specified in this subsection, the Secretary shall award grants to States that submit State plans that are approved for the establishment or maintenance of programs designed to provide recipients of assistance under subsection (c), or those who are on the waiting list to receive the assistance, with coupons that may be exchanged for fresh, nutritious, unprepared foods at farmers’ markets, as defined in the State plans submitted under this subsection.

(2)A grant provided to any State under this subsection shall be provided to the chief executive officer of the State, who shall–

(A) designate the appropriate State agency or agencies to administer the program in conjunction with the appropriate nonprofit organizations; and

(B) ensure coordination of the program among the appropriate agencies and organizations.

(3)The Secretary shall not make a grant to any State under this subsection unless the State agrees to provide State, local, or private funds for the program in an amount that is equal to not less than 30 percent of the total cost of the program, which may be satisfied from State contributions that are made for similar programs.

(4)Subject to paragraph (6), the Secretary shall establish a formula for determining the amount of the grant to be awarded under this subsection to each State for which a State plan is approved under paragraph (6), according to the number of recipients proposed to participate as specified in the State plan. In determining the amount to be awarded to new States, the Secretary shall rank order the State plans according to the criteria of operation set forth in this subsection, and award grants accordingly. The Secretary shall take into consideration the minimum amount needed to fund each approved State plan, and need not award grants to each State that submits a State plan.

(5)Each State that receives a grant under this subsection shall ensure that the program for which the grant is received complies with the following requirements:

(A) Individuals who are eligible to receive Federal benefits under the program shall only be individuals who are receiving assistance under subsection (c), or who are on the waiting list to receive the assistance.

(B) Construction or operation of a farmers’ market may not be carried out using funds–

(C) The value of the Federal share of the benefits received by any recipient under the program may not be–

  1. less than $10 per year; or
  2. more than $20 per year.

(D) The coupon issuance process under the program shall be designed to ensure that coupons are targeted to areas with–

  1. the highest concentration of eligible individuals;
  2. the greatest access to farmers’ markets; and
  3. certain characteristics, in addition to those described in clauses (i) and (ii), that are determined to be relevant by the Secretary and that maximize the availability of benefits to eligible individuals.