This marks the 19th year that SFC has been running the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) with the Texas Department of Agriculture and Texas WIC. This is a seasonal program (April through October) that provides families who participate in WIC (Women Infant and Children) more incentives to shop locally to purchase fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables from our Texas farmers.
We love the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program because it introduces new customers to the market every year, increases sales for local farmers, all the while improving access to healthy food for our community. Last year, FMNP brought in approximately $63,000 in fruit and vegetable sales to our Austin area!
Even though we have run this program for 19 years, we are constantly finding new and innovative ways to make the program EVEN better for our community. Here are some new initiatives this year:
- TEXTS: We are sending texts to WIC customers, and partners at WIC, that have opted in to remind them to pick up their FMNP vouchers. If you receive WIC benefits, text sfc643 to 512 975-3017 to get once a week reminders about how you can get more fruits and vegetables at the market for free!
- SOCIAL MEDIA: We are working with WIC to promote the program through all of SFC’s media channels and Austin Public Health’s media to spread the good news. Follow us on Instagram @sfclocal and our Facebook page @sfcfarmersmarket to see all our initiatives in action!
- WIC AT SFC FARMERS’ MARKETS!: WIC has a booth at SFC Farmers’ Market Downtown and Sunset Valley on First Saturday’s to answer questions or to check the balance on your card. WIC will also be able to redeem online classes, issue benefits, make appointments, and change food packages, so folks may be able to skip the trip to the clinic! Visit us every First Saturday to talk with your Texas WIC for tips on nutrition and kids activities!
- TRIPLE DOLLAR WIC DAY: Even though FMNP is a one-time distribution per season, we want our WIC customers to visit our farmers’ markets all year-round, not just during FMNP season. Every First Saturday, we triple WIC benefits to make fresh, local fruits and vegetables even more affordable for WIC clients.
April 7th was the official launch date of the FMNP and was also a Triple Dollar WIC Day! Here are some of the results:
- We distributed a total of $3,018 in market scrip to buy fruits and vegetables from our farmers through Triple Dollar WIC Day!
- We distributed 145 FMNP booklets or $4,350 to buy fruits and vegetables from our farmers through the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program!
This means more fruits and vegetables on family’s plates and more sales for our fruits and vegetable farmers! What a win-win! We can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of the season!