Farmers' Market Nutrition Program Extended Until November 23 in Connecticut
(HARTFORD, CT) The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (DoAg) announces that the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), for participants of Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) and seniors over the age of 60 who meet income eligibility guidelines, has been extended until November 23, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, participants have an additional three weeks to redeem their checks at participating farmers’ markets and farm stands.
“The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program provides those who are nutritionally at-risk critical access to fresh Connecticut Grown fruits, vegetables, cut herbs, and honey,” said Agriculture Commissioner Bryan P. Hurlburt. “This program is vital to supplementing the diets of these individuals and families while expanding access to Connecticut farm products.”
While the growing season is winding down, farmers’ markets throughout the state are extending their season to serve their communities and accommodate the extension of the 2020 FMNP program. To find an authorized farmers’ market or farm stand near you, please visit www.ctgrown.gov/farmersmarkets. The list of farmers’ markets is updated frequently to reflect current market locations and operating hours.
More than 230,000 checks valued at three dollars each have been distributed this year to eligible WIC participants, seniors, and individuals with disabilities who live in congregate housing where nutrition services are provided.
Redemption of FMNP checks in 2020 has been significantly lower than in previous years, and it is DoAg’s hope that this program extension will encourage continued use of the checks and benefit both FMNP participants and Connecticut farmers. Participating farmers have also been granted an extension to deposit the checks through December 15, 2020.
FMNP has been in effect in Connecticut since the 1980s, when Connecticut was chosen as one of 10 states to pilot the program. Congress subsequently instated the program nationally in 1992, under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Services (FNS), which works to end hunger and obesity. The Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is a federal/state partnership and administered by Connecticut Department of Agriculture. For more information regarding the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, please contact Erin Windham at Erin.Windham@ct.gov or Haley Rowland at Haley.Rowland@ct.gov.