From July 9-23, fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables will be available to nutritionally at-risk women and children through the WIC Farmers' Market at the Colquitt County Health Department.
"To take advantage of this opportunity, you must be enrolled in the WIC program and bring your WIC Identification Card," said Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Denice Vance. "Through the WIC program, WIC participants will receive Georgia Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (GFMNP) benefits in addition to their regular WIC foods."
Vance said the Farmers' Market Program was created to provide locally grown, unprepared produce to nutritionally at-risk WIC participants and to expand consumers' awareness and use of farmers' markets.
"To receive your Farmers' Market Checks â" which have a $30 value â" you will first receive nutritional education," Vance said. "The checks are issued on a first come, first served basis, and they can be used the same day they are issued."
In addition, participating families may receive a gift bag while supplies last, she said.
"The Farmers' Market is expected to be open from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday, July 9 through July 23, but times are subject to change," Vance said. "So it is a good idea to check with your WIC office first by calling 229-891-7100."
The Farmers' Market is sponsored by Southwest Health District Nutrition Services. It allows women, infants 6 months old and over, and children who are certified to receive WIC benefits to receive coupons to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits at WIC-approved local farmers' markets.
It also gives farmers direct access to consumers and an additional way to supplement their incomes, Vance said.
"Plus the community gains easy access to fresh, nutritious foods; knowledge of wholesome eating habits and an opportunity to boost its local economy," she said. "We encourage you to support the Colquitt County WIC Farmers' Market."