WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP)
FOOD AND NUTRITION SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Act of 1992, Public Law 102-314, 106 Stat. 281; Child Nutrition Act of 1966, as amended, Section 17(m), 42 U.S.C. 1786.
(1) To provide fresh, nutritious unprepared locally grown fruits and vegetables from farmers markets to women, infants, and children who participate in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC); and (2) to expand the awareness and use of farmers' markets and increase sales at such markets.
Types of Assistance
Uses and Use Restrictions
Grants are made to State health, agriculture and other agencies (or Indian tribes, bands, or intertribal councils or groups recognized by the Department of the Interior, or the Indian Health Service of the Department of Health and Human Services.) Participating State agencies must provide program income or State, local, or private funds for the program in an amount that is equal to at least 30 percent of the administrative cost of the program except Indian Tribal Organizations which may receive a negotiated match contribution that is less than 30 percent but not less than 10 percent. The matching requirement may be satisfied from State contributions that are made for similar programs. Federal FMNP benefits (coupons) may be issued only to participants in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) or to persons who are on a waiting list to receive WIC benefits.
All State agencies that desire to receive a FMNP grant must submit, for each fiscal year, a State plan to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA. States that received Federal assistance under the Farmers' Market Coupon Demonstration Project, which was administered by FNS from 1989-1992, were "grandfathered" into the FMNP by Public Law 102-314. Other States interested in participating in the FMNP must first submit a State plan to the appropriate FNS regional office for approval. Approved plans are then reviewed and evaluated by the National office (Supplemental Food Programs Division). New State agencies are then selected based on the evaluation and the availability of funds. Local FMNP sites are selected by participating State agencies based on concentration of eligible WIC participants and access to farmers' markets.
WIC participants (i.e., pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding women; infants over 4 months of age; and children up to 5 years of age) and (at the State's discretion) those who are on a waiting list to receive WIC benefits are eligible to receive FMNP coupons. State agencies may also designate subcategories of WIC participants, e.g., pregnant and breastfeeding women only, to be FMNP recipients.
WIC participants (except infants under 4 months of age) and persons on WIC waiting lists certified for WIC eligibility who live in areas with a FMNP are eligible to receive benefits. A signed and executed Federal/State Agreement is necessary before funds can be allocated to a participating FMNP State agency. Costs will be determined in accordance with 7 CFR Part 3016, and FNS guidelines and instructions.
Application and Award Process
Application is made through submission of a "State Plan of Program Operation and Administration" as required by law. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Farmers or farmers' markets (depending on whether State agencies have agreements with farmers or markets) located in communities with WIC Program sites may apply to be authorized to accept FMNP coupons under the program. The State agency reviews the applications for completeness and compliance with authorization requirements. The State agency contacts the farmer/farmers' market to inform them of qualification. Individual participants apply for FMNP benefits at approved local WIC agencies.
Funds are awarded by the Department on the basis of funding formulas to State agencies.
A State plan for the next fiscal year is required by November 15.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
An eligibility determination will be made within 30 days of submission.
Farmer/farmers' market appeals: The State agency shall provide a hearing procedure whereby a farmer/farmers' market adversely affected by a State agency action may appeal the action. The right of appeal shall be granted when a farmer/farmers' market is denied or, during the course of the contract or agreement, when a farmer/farmers' market is disqualified or any other adverse action which affects participation is taken.
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula can be found at Section 17(m)(3) of the Child Nutrition Act. As a prerequisite to the receipt of Federal funds, a State agency must agree to contribute program income or State, local or private funds equal to at least 30 percent of its administrative program cost. Indian Tribal Organizations may receive a negotiated match contribution that is less than 30 percent but not less than 10 percent. State contributions for similar programs may satisfy the State matching requirement. Provided that sufficient funds are available, each current State agency will be funded at its most recent year's level. Remaining funds are divided between current States for expansion and new States, based on a 75 to 25 percent ratio, respectively.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Grants have been released for the duration of the fiscal year using Federal Reserve Bank letters of credit. State agencies may withdraw funds only as needed.
Post Assistance Requirements
Annual reports submitted to FNS specifying the following data: Number and type of recipients (Federal and nonfederal); number of authorized farmers, farmers' markets, and farm or roadside stands; value of coupons issued and redeemed; and financial expenditure data.
State and local agencies shall obtain either a single audit or a program-specific audit in accordance with 7 CFR 3016.26 or 3019.26 and 3052, as applicable.
State agencies must maintain full and complete records including recipient and financial data; coupon issuance and redemption data; equipment purchases and inventory; nutrition education and civil rights procedures.
FY 07 $22,109,323; FY 08 est $19,860,000 and FY 09 est not reported.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Range and Average of Financial Assistance $6,337 to $4,452,384; $621,155.
FNS has approved the operation of the FMNP in 46 State agencies, which include 37 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and 5 Indian Tribal Organizations for fiscal year 2006, thereby increasing the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers' markets by many more WIC recipients. This is consistent with the nutrition goals of WIC and FMNP to motivate WIC participants to make healthy food choices.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
7 CFR Part 248.
Regional or Local Office
See Food and Nutrition Service updated regional office listed in Appendix IV.
Supplemental Food Programs Division, Food and Nutrition Service, Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 540, Alexandria, VA 22302. Contact Debra R. Whitford, Branch Chief. Telephone: (703) 305-2746.
Web Site Address
10.551, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
10.553, School Breakfast Program
10.555, National School Lunch Program
10.556, Special Milk Program For Children
10.557, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program For Women, Infants, And Children
10.565, Commodity Supplemental Food Program
Examples of Funded Projects
Criteria for Selecting Proposals