New Opportunity to Direct Market Fruits and Vegetables in Ohio

Notice: Farmers can now act as vendors for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program fruit and vegetable vouchers

In October 2009, the WIC program expanded.  WIC clients can now receive vouchers for each month, worth either $6 or $10 to purchase fruits and vegetables.  According to federal regulation, farmers are eligible to act as vendors for these fruit and vegetable vouchers.  Farmers can accept these vouchers anywhere they sell their products, including farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and at their farms.

In order for farmers to become WIC vendors, they must apply through the Ohio Department of Health. Applications must be completed and postmarked or received by the Department of Health no later than February 1, 2010. Vendors can only apply for this program once a year.  Therefore, if the February 1st deadline is not met, farmers will have to wait until 2011 before the application process will be reopened.

Please note that this program is separate from the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP).  It is regulated separately and must be applied for separately.

For more information or to receive an application, contact Robin Ridenour at (614) 644-8285 or Kadie Donahoe at (614) 644-7570 at the Ohio Department of Health.

Amalie Lipstreu, Ohio Department of Agriculture

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