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Farmers Market Nutrition Program Supports Iowa WIC Recipients and Low-Income Seniors
Iowa Ag Connection - 06/05/2023

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig has announced the availability of Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) checks for eligible Iowa WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) recipients and low-income senior citizens. The FMNP aims to assist these individuals in obtaining fresh, locally grown produce while simultaneously creating market demand for Iowa farmers. The program allows participants to redeem checks at authorized farmers markets and farm stands from June 1 to October 31, 2023.

Secretary Naig highlighted the importance of supporting Iowans in need and promoting access to nutritious food. By utilizing FMNP checks, eligible families can purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs directly from farmers, fostering healthier eating habits and strengthening local markets.

Under the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program, eligible recipients receive six checks valued at $5 each, totaling a maximum benefit of $30. These checks will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis by local WIC agencies, using a combination of state and federal funds. Over 25,000 Iowa WIC recipients are expected to benefit from the program this year.

For low-income seniors, the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program provides ten checks valued at $5 each, enabling a maximum benefit of $50. The checks are available through the Area Agency on Aging offices and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. More than 18,000 eligible Iowa seniors are anticipated to receive benefits this year.

It is important to note that FMNP checks can only be used to purchase fresh, unprepared produce. Non-eligible items include popcorn, ornamental pumpkins, baked goods, eggs, crafts, and more. Honey can be purchased using senior citizen FMNP checks. The checks must be signed at the time of purchase, and the certified vendor must be present to accept them.

Over 100 farmers markets and farm stands have already enrolled in the FMNP this year. A comprehensive directory of participating locations can be found on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website. Consumers and vendors interested in learning more about the program can visit the FMNP's dedicated website.

Over the past three decades, the redemption of WIC and Senior FMNP dollars has exceeded $15 million, providing vital support to local Iowa farmers.

The Farmers Market Nutrition Programs are administered by the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship in collaboration with the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services and the Iowa Department on Aging. For further program information and inquiries, interested parties can contact John Krzton-Presson at 515-725-1179 or

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