Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program
Cascade County WIC at City-County Health Department is still distributing Farmer's Market Benefits this year. We do not know if the Farmer's Market in Great Falls will open or not. However, there are several options to use your benefits.
If you have received your WIC Farmer's Market Benefits in the mail, please call 406-454-6953 and leave a message letting us know you have received them.
If the Great Falls Farmer's Market opens, you can use your benefits there. There are farmer's markets open in other parts of Montana. You can use your benefits anywhere in Montana, at any vendor that takes the farmer's market benefits. These vendors display the "WIC Benefits Accepted" signs.
If you see a Hutterite farmer set up, stop and check with them. They are probably a WIC vendor and can accept the farmer's market benefits. Here are the days/times/locations of some farm stands around Great Falls:
- Camrose Colony will be at the corner of 3rd Avenue NW and Central Avenue West in the parking lot near U.S. Bank and the federal courthouse (Saturdays 7:30 am to 2 pm)
- Pleasant Valley will be set up at Cattleman's Cut, 1400 Market Place Drive (Saturdays 8:30 am to 2 pm)
- Rockport Colony will be set up on Wednesdays in the Exchange parking lot at Malmstrom (Wednesdays 8 am to 1 pm) and then in the Do Bar parking lot (Wednesdays 4 to 7 pm)
- New Miami Colony, Birch Creek Colony, and Grassland Colony will be downtown at the corner of 4th and Central, by the Pizzazz Corner Market (SATURDAYS 8 am to Noon)
- Miller Colony will be out in the Choteau area (Seeley Lake, Stevensville, Fairfield, Augusta). You can call John for locations and times at 406-466-2421, ext. 710
About the Program
The Farmers' Market Nutrition Program provides vouchers that can be used to buy fresh, unprepared fruits and vegetables from State-approved farmers' markets. Women and children that have been certified to receive WIC services or who are on a waiting list for WIC certification are eligible to participate.
The Farm Direct Program, begun in 2010, combines the WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program with the WIC program in a way that authorizes individual farmers to accept both WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program Benefits (FMNP) and WIC Fruit and Vegetable Benefits (FVB). Authorized farmers may sell their Farm Direct eligible produce in a Farmers' Market, at a roadside stand, from the back of a truck, at their farm, or "u-pick" style.
Farm Direct provides WIC families with the opportunity to purchase fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables directly from authorized Montana farmers. By using their FMNP Benefits, WIC participants will have a wonderful array of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables to choose from to feed their families, which my help reduce some of the barriers to a healthy diet that many low income families experience.
Participating in the Farm Direct Program provides farmers with additional sales opportunities, promotes the production of locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, and helps support the local economy.
Contact your local WIC clinic for information on when FMNP Benefits will be made available or to find out how to become an authorized farmer.
For more information on the Farm Direct Program, including a Farm Direct Eligible Food List, go to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services website.