The Oskaloosa Herald
---- — DES MOINES — Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey announced that Farmers Market Nutrition Program applications are now available for eligible WIC recipients and low-income older Iowans.
The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs provide eligible Iowans with checks that can be redeemed for fresh, locally grown produce at authorized farmers markets and farm stands from June 1 through Oct. 31.
“Iowa has great fresh fruits and vegetables that can be found at farmers markets throughout the state and these programs are designed to give WIC participants and low-income seniors better access to these fresh and nutritious foods,” Northey said.
The Farmers Market Nutrition Programs are administered through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Health and Iowa Department on Aging. For more information contact Paul Ovrom, Program Administrator, at (515) 242-6239 or at Paul.Ovrom@iowaagriculture.gov.
WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program
The WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program provides eligible WIC recipients with nine checks valued at $3 each.
The program is implementing two changes for the 2014 season. This year checks will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Eligible individuals may pick up checks at arranged appointments or at regularly scheduled clinic appointments.
A second change this year is that checks will be distributed on a statewide basis. Previously, checks were only distributed in 68 of Iowa’s 99 counties, but this year the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Iowa Department of Public Health have broadened the distribution to include the entire state.
A combination of state and federal funds will be used to make benefits available to more than 23,000 eligible WIC recipients this year. Eligible individuals include children ages 1 through 4, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women that participate in Iowa’s WIC Program.
The state’s 20 local WIC agencies have begun to distribute checks and nutritional education information. WIC recipients interested in obtaining the benefits are encouraged to contact their local WIC clinic or visit www.idph.state.ia.us/wic/ for more information.
“We’re pleased that WIC recipients throughout the state can now acquire these Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks,” Northey said. “And allowing the checks to be issued on a first-come first-served basis should help to get the checks to those folks that are the most excited about purchasing local fresh produce from vendors at Iowa’s farmers markets.”
Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program
The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program provides eligible seniors with 10 checks for $3 each. Applicants throughout the state are offered the checks on a first-come first-served basis and the checks are available through Area Agency on Aging offices.
A combination of state and federal funds will be used to make benefits available to more than 20,000 eligible seniors this year.
Eligible seniors must be 60 years of age or older with a household income less than $21,590 if single or $29,101 for a married couple. Iowa seniors will be asked to complete a one page application verifying their eligibility, by providing their birth dates and the last four digits of their social security numbers.
The Area Agencies on Aging have begun to distribute checks and nutritional education information. To find an Area Agency on Aging near you, contact the Iowa Association of Area Agencies on Aging (i4a) toll free at 866-468-7887 or at www.i4a.org.