It’s that time of year, again. The weather is warmer and farmers markets are open. State health officials are reminding Women, Infants and Children (WIC) participants that they can purchase food at the local farmers markets.

Starting in 1992, the Farmers Market Nutrition Program has helped women and children have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, all while supporting their local farmers,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “This program helps Hoosiers develop healthy eating habits early in life.”

The Farmers Market Nutrition Program is part of WIC, a supplemental nutrition program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and managed by the Indiana State Department of Health. It provides healthy foods, breastfeeding support and nutrition education to pregnant women, postpartum women, breastfeeding mothers and children up to the age of 5 who are at health or nutritional risk and meet income guidelines. More than 150,000 Hoosiers participate in the program each month.

WIC participants are encouraged to check with their local WIC clinic regarding their specific benefits. Another perk that some markets are offering is the Market Bucks Program, an incentive program that rewards participants for using their benefits at the market. Customers making purchases with their vouchers or program checks can receive an additional $10 in market bucks each market day. Markets are being added to this list all summer – so check with your local WIC office to find out if one has been added near you.

To qualify for WIC benefits, individuals must have incomes up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level. Families who receive Medicaid or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program benefits already meet the income requirements. Families who do not qualify for these programs may be eligible for WIC because of its higher income limit.

Income guidelines are based on gross pay and household size. A pregnant woman counts as two household members. A family of two making $29,637 a year before deductions can qualify for WIC benefits, while a family of four making $44,955 a year is eligible. For a full list of guidelines by family size, visit http://1.usa.gov/1WbT8Ps.


For more information about Indiana WIC or to find a clinic, visit www.wic.in.gov or call (800) 522-0874.