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Free veggies — using WIC benefits at farmers’ markets

Summer’s here! That means lots of yummy, seasonal fruits and vegetables. And depending on where you live, it also means lots of local farmers are setting up shop.

Eligible moms with small children can get free fruits and veggies from their local farmers’ markets! The food assistance program is called WIC FMNP. That stands for the Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), part of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

Here’s how it works:

  1. Apply for WIC FMNP. Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply.
  2. Get your coupons. If eligible, the state will send you farmers’ market coupons called FMNP coupons.
  3. Find an approved, nearby store. You can only spend coupons at locations your state approves. Find a nearby farmer, farmers’ market or roadside stand that accepts WIC FMNP coupons by visiting the National Farmers Market Directory. Then:
    • Click on Payment Accepted tab.
    • Check the box that says WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (WIC-FMNP).
    • Click on the Search Near tab, and search by ZIP code and Distance.
  4. Spend your coupons on eligible items: fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and fresh, cut herbs.
  5. Note: you must use your coupon from June 1 – October 31.

Five tips for shopping at farmers’ markets:

  1. Make a plan — choose recipes based on produce for the upcoming week. Build your meals around fruits and veggies. Write a list.
  2. Arrive early — before all the best produce is sold out.
  3. Choose the right produce — without bruises, blemishes, brown spots, etc.
  4. Ask questions — if you need help figuring out if it’s ripe, the price per weight, how to store it, what’s in season, etc.
  5. Get to know people — the farmers, vendors and shoppers. Farmers’ markets are a great place to make friends and get tips about where to find deals on fresh produce year round.

Have questions about WIC FMNP in your state? Get more info and find out who to call.

Other food assistance programs.

Learn more about seasonal fruits and veggies.