By Nancy Price
Volunteers and several vendors with Beautify Beech Grove Farmers Market will be providing qualifying low-income families with fresh produce next Tuesday afternoon.
“Beautify Beech Grove Farmers Market is proud to be a participating farmers market that accepts WIC vouchers,” said Julie Lockwood, a volunteer with the farmers market. “WIC representatives will be distributing vouchers at our market on Aug. 6 from 3-6 p.m. for women who qualify. Vouchers can be used as cash for the purchase of fresh fruit and vegetables. We have several vendors who accept WIC vouchers.”
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age 5 who are found to be at nutritional risk.
The program’s mission is to partner with other services that are key to childhood and family well-being. The basic eligibility requirement is a family income below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. Most states allow automatic income eligibility, where a person or family participating in certain benefits programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, may automatically meet the income eligibility requirements. Currently, WIC serves 53 percent of all infants born in the United States.
“WIC comes to the market to distribute vouchers two times a year,” Lockwood said. “This year when they previously came to the market, there were approximately 100 women that received the vouchers.”
“We expect a very large crowd,” added Jim Eckstein, a volunteer with the farmers market. “Each family that signs up will get three $8 vouchers for fresh locally grown produce.”
Beech Grove Farmers Market is in the parking lot of South Emerson Church of God, 3939 S. Emerson Ave., and is open every Tuesday from 3-6 p.m. through October.
For more information about WIC, visit marionhealth.org/programs/population-health/adolescent-health-2. For more information about Beautify Beech Grove Farmers Market, go to Facebook: Beautify Beech Grove Farmers Market or call (317) 850-6898.