The Farmers Market Coupon Program began in Massachusetts in 1986, and in 1989, Congress authorized a three-year demonstration project to test the concept in ten states. The success of the demonstration projects led Congress to enact the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Act of 1992, thereby establishing it as the 14th Federal food assistance program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Since that time, the number of states participating in the program has grown significantly. Funding for the Program is provided by the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service with an additional required state match.
Eligibility Criteria for WIC or Senior Coupons
The Massachusetts Farmers' Market Nutrition Program provides elders, and women and children in the Federal Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) with coupons for fresh fruits and vegetables redeemable at Farmers' Markets. The coupons are distributed in early summer and must be redeemed by October 31st of that year.
WIC participants receive these nutrition benefits in the summer in addition to the regular WIC food package. Local farmers are reimbursed for the face value of the coupons, thereby enhancing earnings and supporting participation in Farmers' Markets.
• To find out if you are eligible for WIC assistance, click here.
Massachusetts farmers' market coupons are also distributed to low-income elders in the summer. Massachusetts also serves low-income seniors who are unable to use the coupons due to access limitations by facilitating bulk purchasing of fruits and vegetables that are distributed to home bound elders with their regularly scheduled meals deliveries, or distributed at on-site meal programs.
• To find the agency in your area which has farmers' market coupons for seniors, contact the Elderly Nutrition Program which serves your community, click here. Eligibility Guidelines for the Seniors Farmers' Market Nutrition Program, click here.
Information for Farmers and Market Managers
Participation in the Farmers' Market Nutrition Program benefits farmers by attracting a new base of customers to Farmers' Markets, thereby providing additional sales opportunities to participating farmers, allows farmers to capture a greater share of the consumer food dollar through direct marketing, and promotes diversification on small farms by encouraging the production of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
Farmer participation in the program benefits coupon recipients as well. It provides participants with coupons redeemable for nutritious fresh fruits and vegetables, introduces families and others to Farmers' Markets, and supports nutrition education goals by encouraging the selection and preparation of fresh fruits and vegetables.
How to become certified to accept Farmers Market Nutrition Coupons
All farmers’ markets and farmers must be certified by MDAR to participate in the Program.
Click here to apply to become a certified farmer.
Click here to apply to certify a farmers’ market.
Coupons cannot be accepted or redeemed prior to training and submitting an annual agreement. If you are a new farmer, contact Rebecca Davidson to receive training and to become certified.
Click here to download the list of Market ID numbers. This list is updated periodically. Please contact Rebecca Davidson if you have any questions, or if your market is not listed.
In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
- Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;
- Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.