Commissioner Adam H. Putnam

Florida Agriculture: 500 Years in the Making

WIC/Farmers' Market Nutrition Program

Video Script

Because of its warm climate, Florida has a wide selection of fruits and vegetables year 'round. Open air markets give local farmers a place to sell their produce, and give you the chance to buy fresh, wholesome food for your family straight from the farm.

Eating a variety of nutritious foods is especially important for new and expectant mothers. If you're pregnant or breast-feeding, a balanced diet will provide your baby with the building blocks needed for good health.

Infants and young children also need proper nutrition. During their early active years, children burn up a lot of energy. But because they fill up fast at mealtimes, and are sometimes picky about what they eat, children may not get all of the vitamins and minerals they need.

The Women, Infants, and Children's Program, or WIC, has joined with Florida farmers to help you buy the right foods to enhance your family's health.

Under the WIC/Farmers' Market Nutrition Program you will receive a Farmers' Market Coupon book in addition to your regular WIC checks. This coupon book will help you purchase fresh Florida fruits and vegetables at your local farmers' markets. By purchasing your produce directly from local farmers, you will be feeding your family fresh and nutritious foods.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are important to a healthy diet. They provide nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, and folic acid. They are also low in fat, sodium and calories, and are a good source of fiber. In addition, fresh fruits and vegetables taste great, and their colors and textures make meals more appealing.

As a recipient of WIC checks, you are eligible for this coupon book. The front of each coupon has an expiration date; you can only use your coupons during this period.

Coupons can only be used to buy fresh Florida fruits and vegetables from certified vendors at participating farmers' markets where you see this sign: "WIC/Farmers' Market Coupons Gladly Accepted Here". These coupons may not be used at grocery stores.

Each coupon can be spent at the Farmers' Market the same way people use cash to buy fruits and vegetables. However, if your purchase is less than the value of your coupons, you cannot receive change. The farmers will gladly make up the difference with additional fruits and vegetables. Eggs, meat, cheese, herbs, and processed items cannot be purchased with the coupons. If you want to buy processed items, you can use your own money. Some farmers also accept food stamps.

When you visit your local Farmers' Market, remember to take your WIC ID card. You must show your ID card and sign the coupons to exchange them for fresh Florida produce. Just as with your WIC checks, only you or your co-care taker or proxy can use these coupons.

The WIC Clinic will supply you with maps to the Farmers' Markets in your area when the coupons are issued. You'll also receive a brochure that contains a list of all the fresh produce grown in Florida that your coupons can buy.

You can find a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables from a number of WIC/FMNP certified farmers at the Farmers' Market. Be sure to arrive early for the best selection -- sometimes farmers sell all of their produce even before the end of market hours. So shop around for the best prices and look for the signs that say "Farmers' Market Coupons Gladly Accepted Here".

When they are in season and grown locally, fruits and vegetables, fresh from Florida, are a great bargain and taste their best. Use your coupons to try new foods or purchase your family's favorites. Either way, your Farmers' Market Coupon Book will help you feed your family fresh and nutritious foods.

Back to Top

Return to Health, Nutrition and Cooking Videos