August 8, 2017 | Number of The Day
Percentage of WIC farmers market vouchers redeemed in NJ in 2016

This is National Farmers Market Week, and as part of it, New Jersey’s Health Commissioner Cathleen D. Bennett and Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher are promoting two programs that help farmers to sell their produce while also giving needy families and seniors access to healthy food. Those are the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and Senior Farmers Market nutrition programs, which allow eligible participants to trade farmers market nutrition checks for fresh fruits and vegetables.

The problem, Bennett said, is that last year “only 66 percent of WIC Farmers Market vouchers were redeemed” in New Jersey. “We must do better,” she said, noting that the 2016 redemption rate means that “$301,843 worth of fresh produce that could have provided nutritious meals for needy children and families was returned to the federal government.”