|CHARLESTON, W.Va. –The WV WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), administered by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau for Public Health, Office of Nutrition Services, has replaced its paper coupon booklet system with WIC Farm Market Direct, an electronic platform. As part of the new system, WV WIC FMNP participants will have a QR Code affixed to their eWIC card, allowing for electronic transactions with authorized farmers market vendors, and can check their card balance through a web-based portal.|
Through WIC Farm Market Direct, authorized farmers scan the QR Code on the member’s eWIC card with a mobile device to initiate the purchasing process of fresh fruits and vegetables. Farmers will then receive payment via direct deposit, which eliminates check processing fees. There are currently 106 farmers participating in the WV WIC program; a listing of participating farmers and farmers markets is available on the WV WIC website.
WV WIC FMNP benefits may be redeemed from June 1 to October 31, 2023.
|“This new technology platform has many benefits for both WV WIC participants and local farmers,” said Heidi Staats, Director of DHHR’s Office of Nutrition Services. “It simplifies the purchasing process for participants, reduces stigma by functioning like a credit/debit card, streamlines payments to farmers and farmers markets, provides real-time data for review and analysis, and ensures efficient and secure management of federal funds and benefits.”|
In 2022, DHHR’s Office of Nutrition Services was awarded funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture FMNP Benefit Delivery Modernization Grant to invest in technology to streamline benefit delivery and improve equitable access to locally grown fruits and vegetables.
“West Virginia was awarded FMNP expansion funding due to the successful implementation of an electronic FMNP system,” added Staats. “This has allowed us to increase the FMNP benefit to the maximum level of $30 for eligible WIC participants.”
For more information about the WV WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, visit dhhr.wv.gov/WIC/Pages/Farmers-Market.aspx. Farmers interested in becoming an approved WV WIC vendor may visit dhhr.wv.gov/WIC/retailersfarmers or contact the WV WIC Vendor Unit at 304-558-1115 or email@example.com. To view and apply for careers in the public health field, visit dhhr.wv.gov/Pages/Career-Opportunities.aspx.