Missouri Looks to Return Farmers’ Market Vouchers for WIC Recipients

WIC recipients could soon be receiving vouchers for farmers markets. House Bill 432 would bring the Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program back to the WIC program in Missouri.

Missouri participated in the program up until more than a decade ago.

Representative Martha Stevens from Columbia sponsors the bill. She says it is a way to address food insecurity, which is a significant issue in our state for low-income families. The program would also support new moms and young children that are at nutritional risk. And it is a way to draw down federal dollars to be distributed in our local economy, supporting local farmers.

If passed, the program will initially be couched in the existing Seniors’ Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program in the counties that offer it with the hope that it will eventually grow through grant money from the USDA.

The program will be maintained by the state Department of Agriculture. Stevens said it will likely be next year before WIC recipients in Missouri can get vouchers.