You may already know about WIC—”Women, Infants, and Children,” the government program that provides nutritional assistance to “low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women,” and to their children up to age five. But a lot of people don’t know that if you receive WIC or if you’re a low-income senior, you may also qualify for their farmers market program, which means you can take advantage of the same fresh-from-the-farm bounty as those coke-snorting yuppies who’ll buy anything with the word “heirloom” stamped across it.
Both the regular and senior versions of the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) distribute coupons, which “can be used to buy fresh, unprepared fruits, vegetables and herbs from farmers, farmers’ markets or roadside stands that have been approved by the State agency to accept FMNP coupons.” Sorry, no prunes, raisins, nuts, honey, maple syrup, or cider. (You can still sign whatever wacky petition is being circulated that day, though.)
Says the WIC site, “Currently, 45 State agencies operate the FMNP. They include the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and 37 States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. In addition, 5 Indian Tribal Organizations administer the Program: Chickasaw, Oklahoma; Osage Tribe, Oklahoma; the Mississippi Band of Choctaws; the Five Sandoval Indian Pueblos, New Mexico, and the Pueblos of San Felipe, New Mexico.”