WIC Vegetables & Fruits Checks at Farmers' Markets

Educational Materials

Notice: The WIC Vegetables and Fruits Check Program (WIC VF) has been discontinued due to the implementation of eWIC throughout New York State as of April 2019.
Please direct any questions regarding this program to the Division of Agricultural Development Food and Nutrition Unit at:
        Phone: (518) 457-7076 ext. 1
        Email: farmersmarkets@agriculture.ny.gov


What is the WIC VF?

The WIC Vegetables and Fruits Check Program (WIC VF) is a program, started in 2009, that provides pregnant, postpartum, breastfeeding women, infants and children under the age of 5 enrolled in the WIC Program with checks that can be used at participating farmers markets and farm stands to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. As of 2017, the checks come in four denominations: $4, $8, $11 and $17.

Purpose:

The mission of WIC VF is to improve the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutrition risk by providing nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating, and referrals to health care. It is also to increase the consumption of fresh, local fruit and vegetables by WIC participants and to expand awareness and use of farmers' markets.

Participants:

Women who are pregnant, postpartum, or breastfeeding, and children age of 5 and younger enrolled in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) are eligible to receive WIC VF benefits.

Benefits:

Participating in the WIC VF supports economic development by increasing a farmer's sales at farmers' markets and farm stands. It also helps to promote the growth of family farms by creating a market for their fresh fruit and vegetables. The WIC VF supports community development projects and the revitalization of downtown commercial storefronts by creating a weekly destination for shoppers and community gathering. It can highlight sustainable change in communities regarding access to fresh, local fruit and vegetables. For participants, the WIC VF becomes a monetary supplement to encourage increased consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables and to improve their knowledge of how to purchase, store and prepare fresh fruit and vegetables.


Farmers

Farmers must enroll in this program in order to accept WIC VF checks. A farmer must fill out a WIC VF application and agreement, and be enrolled in the Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP).

Annual training is mandatory for farmers participating in the WIC Vegetables and Fruits Check Program.

The Department is currently not accepting new applications to this program.


WIC VF Training

All farmers participating in the WIC Vegetables and Fruits Checks Program (WIC VF) must meet an annual training requirement set by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (Department) and the New York State Department of Health. Farmers can register for one of our upcoming training webinars here.

Training is no longer provided at this time.


Educational Material


Contact Information

Mark McMullen, Nutrition Unit Coordinator

Phone: (518) 457-7076 ext. 1
Email: farmersmarkets@agriculture.ny.gov
Fax:    (518) 457-2716


rev. 6/11/19