by Emily DeLeo
Nutritious and colorful fresh fruits and vegetables will soon be in abundance. However, individuals living on limited incomes may feel they cannot afford that trip to the farmers market. Fresh produce can be a little pricey, or may not be a priority for a large family that is trying to stretch their grocery budget.
The good news is that some vendors at area farmers markets will accept WIC and FoodShare (formerly food stamps). WIC is a free supplemental nutrition program for low incomewomen who are pregnant, breastfeeding, new moms, infants and young children.
Some of the foods WIC provides include milk, eggs, cheese, cereal and fruit juice, as well as fresh produce from some local farmers markets. WIC participants also receive nutrition and health screenings, information and referrals.
FoodShare is a program that allows people with limited income to buy healthy foods at the grocery store, and sometimes at a farmers market. The benefits for FoodShare are deposited on an electronic debit card, called the Quest card. Individuals or families using the FoodShare program include people of all ages who are working, but have low incomes, or are living on fixed incomes, have lost their jobs, retired or have disabilities.
If you think you might be eligible for WIC or FoodShare, please call one of the numbers listed below. Ask about farmers markets in your area and how you can use your benefits for fresh produce.
MLK Heritage Health Center
2555 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
or Wisconsin Recipient Services Hotline
1-800-362-3002 1220 W. Vliet St.
Riverwest Currents online edition – June, 2007