The Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce along with other state partners coordinates two (2) programs that bridge together farmers with consumers and low-income residents, the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (WIC FMNP) and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP).
Overview of the WIC FMNP Program
The WIC FMNP is a unique program designed to provide nutrition benefits to WIC clients and promote the purchase of Mississippi grown fruits and vegetables from farmers at local farmers’ markets throughout Mississippi.
Specially printed checks are provided on a one-time basis to participants enrolled in WIC in communities with farmers’ markets. Checks issued by designated staff members at local Women, Infants and Children’s (WIC) Program agency sites are redeemed by participants for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers participating in the program. WIC program recipients certified by the designated staff will receive a one-time benefit of $25 (5 checks valued at $5 each).
Farmers’ markets are selected for the program based on specific criteria agreed upon between the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce and the Mississippi State Department of Health’s WIC Program. These criteria include proximity to WIC nutrition sites, WIC target nutrition areas, and areas of farm produce availability. As these sites are chosen, MDAC will train and certify farmers’ market managers and participating farmers.
The FMNP begins in June or July with the distribution of checks to eligible recipients. The checks will be valid for use at all authorized farmers’ markets until October. The program will end in October. Since no change is given to program recipients, if a check is less than the printed denomination value, farmers are encouraged to make up the difference with additional produce items.
Currently, the program takes place in Benton, Clay, Desoto, Harrison, Hinds, Holmes, Lafayette, Lauderdale, Leflore, Lowndes, Marshall, Oxtibbeha, Panola, Pike, Tate, and Warren counties.
Overview of the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program
The Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is a unique program funding via the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and designed to provide more access to locally grown fruits and vegetables for low-income senior citizens in certain areas of Mississippi and to promote the purchase of Mississippi grown fruits and vegetables from farmers at local farmers’ markets throughout Mississippi.
The Senior FMNP begins in June or July with the distribution of checks to eligible recipients. The checks will be valid for use at all authorized farmers’ markets until October and November or whenever the farmers market in certain areas close. Since no change is given to program recipients, if a check is less than the printed denomination value, farmers are encouraged to make up the difference with additional produce items.
Senior FMNP checks are issued by designated Area Agencies on Aging at: local congregate feeding sites, senior centers, through case manager visits, and in some cases at farmers markets. The Senior FMNP checks are redeemed by participants for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables and honey from farmers at participating farmers markets. Eligible recipients above the age of 60 and that have met certain income guidelines and are potentially eligible to receive a one-time benefit of $30 (6 checks valued at $5 each).
The program has been made possible through and will affect over 4,000 seniors in Adams, Carroll, Desoto, Forrest, Holmes, Harrison County and other areas throughout Central Mississippi, East Central Mississippi, North Mississippi, Southwest Mississippi, South Mississippi, the Gulf Coast, the Golden Triangle and other counties in the Mississippi Delta region.
For more information on participating in the Senior FMNP at a local or regional participating Area Agency on Aging or participating non-profit service agency, contact:
Hinds, Madison, Rankin, Copiah and Yazoo Counties
Central Mississippi AAA
Attala, Carroll, Holmes and Leflore Counties
North Central AAA
Harrison and Jackson Counties
Southern Mississippi AAA
Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, Pike and Walthall Counties
Southwest Mississippi AAA
Desoto, Panola, and Tate Counties
North Delta AAA
Clay, Lowndes and Oktibbeha Counties
Lauderdale and Neshoba Counties
East Central Mississippi AAA
Forrest, Jones, Perry Counties or Pinebelt area
Feeding the Gulf Coast
Phone: 1.877.833.2550, @ prompt press 1
Oseola McCarty Youth Development Center
Three Rivers AAA
Benton, Marshall and Alcorn Counties
Northeast Mississippi AAA