Emily Rice Published

Providing Access To Healthy Food Through WIC

Vegetable are show laid in rows, ready to be purchased at a farmer's market.
Thanks to a new paperless program, fresh produce will be easy to purchase for participants of the WIC Farm Market Direct

The West Virginia Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) has replaced its paper coupon booklet system with an electronic platform called the WIC Farm Market Direct.

As part of the new system, participants will have a QR Code affixed to their eWIC card, allowing for electronic transactions.

Participants can also check their card balance through a web-based portal.

The program is administered by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), Bureau for Public Health and Office of Nutrition Services.

Farmers who are authorized to accept WIC Farm Market Direct will scan the code on the member’s eWIC car with a mobile device and receive payment via direct deposit.

Currently, 106 farmers are participating in the WIC program; a listing of participating farmers and farmer’s markets is available on the website.

Recipients may redeem benefits from June 1 to Oct. 31, 2023.

Heidi Staats is the director of DHHR’s Office of Nutrition Services and said the new technology simplifies the purchasing process and streamlines payments to farmers.

“This new technology platform has many benefits for both WV WIC participants and local farmers,” Staats said. “It simplifies the purchasing process for participants, reduces stigma by functioning like a credit/debit card, streamlines payments to farmers and farmers markets, provides real-time data for review and analysis, and ensures efficient and secure management of federal funds and benefits.”