Benefit to Farmers
The FMNP provides a marketing alternative for small fruit and vegetable farmers. In other words with direct selling, the program provides a set clientele or new customers for participating farmers along with their regular customers at a market. When FMNP check recipients redeem all of the checks they have been issued, it is believed that the recipient will return to the market to purchase fruits and vegetables with cash, thus producing another boost to farmers and farmers’ markets.
Additionally, when a recipient redeems a check at the market, the participating farmer can immediately deposit the check at his/her bank of financial institution.
Benefit to Participants
The FMNP enhances the standard food package received by WIC participants. Along with the nutrition information participants receive during sessions with WIC nutritionist, participants get to develop better nutrition immediately.
A relationship forged between the WIC participants in urban areas and rural farmers could result in farmers sharing tips on ways to prepare and store fruits and vegetables with urban residents.
The criteria to participate in the FMNP, as a farmer participant requires the farmer participant be a bona fide grower and grow and harvest the produce he/she intends to sell. Certification is a two-step process. First, growers must attend a training session as coordinated by the FMNP coordinator to understand the requirements of the program. Second, growers must complete the FMNP Farmer Application and Agreement and submit a crop plan which identifies what fruits and vegetables they intend to produce and in what quantities. Once a year, a staff member of the department will visit the producer to ensure compliance with program requirements.
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW , Washington , DC 20250-9410 or call 800.795.3272 (voice) or 202.720.6382 (TTY).