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WIC & Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Programs

Health Factors: Diet & Exercise
Decision Makers: State Government
Evidence Rating: Some Evidence
Population Reach: 10-19% of WI's population
Impact on Disparities: Likely to decrease disparities

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Description

Farmers' Market Nutrition Programs (FMNP) are part of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) and the Senior Nutrition Program. These programs provide participating women, children, and seniors with coupons for fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables that can be redeemed at farmers’ markets and produce stands, or can support shares in community supported agriculture. The federal WIC FMNP benefit ranges from $10 to $30 per year (USDA-FMNP), and the federal Senior FMNP benefit ranges from $20 to $50 per year (USDA-SFMNP); some states supplement these amounts. 

Expected Beneficial Outcomes

Increased access to fruits & vegetables
Increased fruit & vegetable consumption

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is some evidence that WIC and Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Programs (FMNPs) improve access to fresh fruits and vegetables, although effects appear limited by the programs’ benefit amounts (Wilson 2017, Racine 2010, Stallings 2016, Joy 2001). Supporting WIC and Senior FMNPs is a suggested strategy to increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables (CDC-Fruits and vegetables 2011, CDC MMWR-Khan 2009, ADA-Stang 2010). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects and determine ideal benefit amounts.

Participation in WIC FMNP can increase fresh fruit and vegetable consumption by approximately one full serving for low income women (Racine 2010, Joy 2001). Home delivery of Senior FMNP benefits can increase consumption of fruits and vegetables by approximately one full serving and increase the percentage of seniors consuming the recommended 5 or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables (Johnson 2004). In locations with state supplements, WIC and Senior FMNP have also been shown to positively affect attitudes toward fruit and vegetable consumption and amounts consumed (Anderson 2001, Herman 2008, Evans-Gates 2005).

Researchers suggest that increasing the federal benefit amount, supplementing it with state funds, or incorporating fruit and vegetable matching incentives could increase the program’s impact (USDA-Fox 2004, Wilson 2017). Including nutrition education, particularly education that is culturally sensitive, geography and age appropriate (Wilson 2017), and introducing requirements for coupon redemption can increase consumption of fruits and vegetables (Stallings 2016, Lieff 2016). Enhancements such as coordinated promotion and increased collaboration with other state-level agencies can increase use of FMNP benefits (Conrey 2003), and improvements to the process for authorizing vendors, accepting vouchers, and receiving reimbursement can increase the number of participating farmers (Saitone 2017).

Transportation to farmers’ markets remains a challenge for FMNP participation, especially among seniors; home delivery of market goods can overcome such challenges (Wilson 2017). Not knowing what to buy, limited produce variety, and unfavorable weather conditions can also be barriers to redeeming coupons at farmers’ markets (McDonnell 2014).

An economic analysis of FMNP suggests that the program generates social benefits at a low cost (Just 1997). WIC and Senior FMNP can also increase earnings for farmers who accept program coupons (Wilson 2017, Saitone 2017); in fiscal year 2015, redeemed WIC FMNP coupons generated about $14 million in farmer revenue (USDA-FMNP facts 2016).

Implementation

United States

As of FY 2015, agencies in 39 states, 6 tribal governments, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands support the WIC FMNP, and agencies in 43 states, 8 tribal governments, and Washington DC support the Senior FMNP (USDA-FMNP facts 2016, USDA-SFMNP facts 2016). As of 2015, over 20,300 farmers at over 3,750 farmers’ markets, 3,200 roadside stands, and 180 community supported agriculture programs participated in the SFMNP (USDA-SFMNP facts 2016), and nearly 18,000 farmers, 3,400 farmers' markets and 2,900 roadside stands were authorized to accept WIC FMNP coupons (USDA-FMNP facts 2016).

The CDC highlights Maine as a state that successfully uses the Senior FMNP through a Farm Share to bring fresh produce to seniors, and offers educational tips on cooking, selecting, storing, and preparing fresh produce. In Wisconsin and Rhode Island, culinary schools partner with WIC and SFMNP to offer cooking demonstrations at farmers’ markets (CDC-5 a day).

Wisconsin

Wisconsin offers both WIC (WI DHS-WIC FMNP) and Senior FMNP (WI DHS-Senior FMNP).

Implementation Resources

USDA-FMNP - US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). WIC Farmers’ market nutrition program (FMNP). Accessed on February 7, 2017
USDA-SFMNP - United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). Accessed on May 26, 2017

Citations - Description

USDA-FMNP - US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). WIC Farmers’ market nutrition program (FMNP). Accessed on February 7, 2017
USDA-SFMNP - United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). Accessed on May 26, 2017

Citations - Evidence

ADA-Stang 2010* - Stang J, Bayerl CT. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Child and adolescent nutrition assistance programs. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2010;110(5):791-9. Accessed on May 16, 2017
Anderson 2001* - Anderson JV, Bybee DI, Brown RM, et al. 5 A day fruit and vegetable intervention improves consumption in a low income population. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2001;101(2):195-202. Accessed on May 16, 2017
CDC MMWR-Khan 2009 - Khan LK, Sobush K, Keener D, et al. Recommended community strategies and measurements to prevent obesity in the United States. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). 2009;58(RR-07):1-26. Accessed on May 10, 2017
CDC-Fruits and vegetables 2011 - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Strategies to prevent obesity and other chronic diseases: The CDC guide to strategies to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS); 2011. Accessed on March 1, 2017
Conrey 2003 - Conrey EJ, Frongillo EA, Dollahite JS, Griffin MR. Integrated program enhancements increased utilization of farmers’ market nutrition program. Journal of Nutrition. 2003;133(6):1841-4. Accessed on May 16, 2017
Evans-Gates 2005 - Evans-Gates D. Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption among low income pregnant women and young children in the WIC farmers' market nutrition program. Philadelphia: American Public Health Association (APHA) 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition; 2005. Accessed on May 16, 2017
Herman 2008 - Herman DR, Harrison GG, Afifi AA, Jenks E. Effect of a targeted subsidy on intake of fruits and vegetables among low-income women in the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children. American Journal of Public Health. 2008;98(1):98-105. Accessed on May 16, 2017
Johnson 2004 - Johnson DB, Beaudoin S, Smith LT, Beresford SAA, LoGerfo JP. Increasing fruit and vegetable intake in homebound elders: The Seattle senior farmers' market nutrition pilot program. Preventing Chronic Disease. 2004;1(1):A03. Accessed on May 16, 2017
Joy 2001 - Joy AB, Bunch S, Davis M, Fujii J. USDA program stimulates interest in farmers' markets among low-income women. California Agriculture. 2001;55(3):38-41. Accessed on May 16, 2017
Just 1997* - Just RE, Weninger Q. Economic evaluation of the farmers' market nutrition program. American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 1997;79(3):902-17. Accessed on May 16, 2017
Lieff 2016* - Lieff SA, Bangia D, Baronberg S, Burlett A, Chiasson MA. Evaluation of an educational initiative to promote shopping at farmers’ markets among the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) participants in New York City. Journal of Community Health. 2016. Accessed on May 26, 2017
McDonnell 2014 - McDonnell L, Morris MN, Holland J. WIC participants’ perceived behavioral control, attitudes toward, and factors influencing behavioral intentions to redeeming cash-value vouchers at certified farmers markets. Californian Journal of Health Promotion. 2014;12(2):22-31. Accessed on May 26, 2017
Racine 2010* - Racine EF, Smith Vaughn A, Laditka SB. Farmers' market use among African-American women participating in the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants, and children. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2010;110(3):441-6. Accessed on May 16, 2017
Saitone 2017* - Saitone TL, McLaughlin PW. Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program redemptions at California farmers’ markets: Making the program work for farmers and participants. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 2017:1-13. Accessed on May 26, 2017
Stallings 2016* - Stallings TL, Gazmararian JA, Goodman M, Kleinbaum D. The Georgia WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program’s influence on fruit and vegetable intake and nutrition knowledge and competencies among urban African American women and children. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. 2016;11(1):86-101. Accessed on May 26, 2017
USDA-FMNP facts 2016 - United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) fact sheet. 2016. Accessed on May 30, 2017
USDA-Fox 2004 - Fox MK, Hamilton W, Lin BH. Effects of food assistance and nutrition programs on nutrition and health: WIC farmers’ market nutrition program. Washington, DC: Economic Research Service (ERS), US Department of Agriculture (USDA); 2004:3: FANRR-19-3. Accessed on February 10, 2017
Wilson 2017* - Wilson KO. Community food environments and healthy food access among older adults: A review of the evidence for the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). Social Work in Health Care. 2017;56(4):227-243. Accessed on May 26, 2017

Citations - Implementation

CDC-5 a day - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 5 A day works! Atlanta: US Department of Health and Human Services (US DHHS); 2005. Accessed on March 1, 2017
USDA-FMNP facts 2016 - United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) fact sheet. 2016. Accessed on May 30, 2017
USDA-SFMNP facts 2016 - United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) fact sheet. 2016. Accessed on May 30, 2017
WI DHS-Senior FMNP - Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI DHS). Senior farmers’ market nutrition program. Accessed on May 19, 2017
WI DHS-WIC FMNP - Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WI DHS). WIC farmers’ market nutrition program (FMNP). Accessed on May 19, 2017

Page Last Updated

May 26, 2017

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