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WIC

WIC Coupons

The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Program provides supplemental foods at no cost to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding post-partum women, and to infants and children up to 5 years of age, who are found to be at nutritional risk. Like SNAP, a growing number of farmers markets and farmers market vendors are beginning to accept WIC benefits as a way to make fresh and local food more accessible to women, infants, and children.

The USDA WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program makes fresh and local food more accessible to WIC recipients. And like SNAP, accepting WIC benefits provides a great opportunity for a food business to expand the customer base, increase sales, and make farmers markets accessible to all people. There are a few drawbacks to accepting WIC, however. Not all food items qualify as a WIC eligible purchase. WIC uses a coupon-based system, and only authorized farmers, farmers markets and/or roadside stands may accept and redeem WIC coupons. Annual training is mandatory for businesses participating in the WIC program, and businesses must abide by eligibility guidelines to avoid fraud. Some recommendations for integrating WIC coupons into the POS include to:

  • Treat customers using WIC coupons the same as those using cash and credit
  • Devise efficient and discrete means to accept WIC coupons that do not alienate the customer
  • Clearly post all products that do and do not qualify as a WIC-eligible purchase.

For more information on accepting WIC coupons, visit the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) website. 

Important steps:

  1. Check if your county participates in the WIC and/or the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Programs (FMNPs).
  2. Arrange and/or attend an annual vendor training by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).
  3. Post clear signage at your booth letting customers know they can spend checks there.

About WIC FMNP

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is a federally-funded food assistance program. It provides supplemental foods at no cost to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, as well as to infants and children up to 5 years of age, who are found to be at nutritional risk. This program is administered at the federal level by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service and at the state level by the Florida Department of Health.

Some WIC recipients can participate in the WIC FMNP, which uses a coupon-based system in the form of check booklets valid only at participating farm booths. Only authorized farmers and farm stands may accept and redeem these coupons. Annual training is mandatory for businesses participating in the WIC FMNP program, and businesses must abide by eligibility guidelines to avoid fraud.

Senior FMNP

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is also a federally-funded nutrition assistance program. It is administered at the federal level by the USDA Food & Nutrition Service and at the state level by the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. This program provides low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for local and unprocessed fruits, vegetables, and honey at farmers’ markets. Only authorized farmers and farm stands may accept and redeem these coupons, and annual training is mandatory.

For more information on accepting FMNP coupons, visit the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) website and/or the Department of Elder Affairs website.

Additional References and Resources: