June 13, 2018 – Most Olympia Farmers Market vendors who sell locally farmed produce display a poster at their stand indicating they accept both WIC and Senior Farmers Market checks. In keeping with its mission to promote and encourage the development of local, small-scale agriculture and make their products available to all residents of the community, the Farmers Market supports these financial assistance programs.
Data from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services states that of the 267,000 people residing in Thurston County, 73,231 receive state provided economic assistance services and of those, 50,712 receive Basic Food Assistance.
“The Olympia Farmers Market is working with partners to address food insecurity, and to bridge the gaps low income clients experience accessing nutritious, fresh fruits and vegetables. Data from a 2017 Rapid Market Assessment indicates that 83 percent of market shoppers found it to “very important” or “important” that low income people have the ability to shop at the Farmers Market with SNAP, EBT or WIC/Senior FMNP.,” said Mary DiMatteo, Olympia Farmers Market Community Outreach Manager.
The Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) provides seniors and eligible WIC clients in Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties the opportunity to purchase fresh, nutritious, unprepared, unprocessed, locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey (seniors only) and fresh-cut herbs from authorized farmers markets. Participants also receive nutrition educational materials including recipes, nutrient values, food preparation and storage information. By increasing the consumption of local agricultural commodities, FMNP helps aid in the economic development of farmers markets!
For additional information and eligibility requirements, visit:
The WIC (Woman, Infants, and Children) Farmers Market Checks provides low-income, nutritionally at-risk pregnant women, postpartum mothers and children up to their 5th birthday, the opportunity to purchase fresh, nutritious, unprepared, unprocessed, locally grown fruits, vegetables, honey and fresh-cut herbs from authorized farmers markets and roadside stands.
For additional information and eligibility requirements, visit: http://caclmt.org/wic/about-the-program/
The Olympia Farmers Market is home to two produce resellers, The Fresh Approach and Sullivan’s Homestead. While these vendors are not part of the WIC or Senior Farmers Market check program, they do accept EBT dollars. The Olympia Farmers Market is also home to the Fresh Bucks Program which doubles EBT dollars, up to $10 per day to be spent with local farmers.