The Oregon Farm Direct Nutrition Program connects eligible seniors and families in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children with the freshest local produce available and local farmers who grow food. Participating farmers earned $1.4 million in farm direct program sales in 2017.
In 2018, $1 million more in state funding is available for this program. With more funding and more eligible nutrition program customers, farmers can help solve food insecurity in their community by bringing healthy food to eligible seniors and families in the WIC nutrition program.
Program recipients receive green $4 preprinted checks to spend with authorized farmers who sell their own produce at farm stands and farmers’ markets. Program recipients are nutritionally at-risk young families enrolled in the WIC (Women, Infants & Children) program, and eligible low-income seniors.
Nutrition program checks are for locally grown, fresh, unprocessed fruit, vegetables and cut herbs. Shoppers can use their checks from June 1 through Nov. 30.
If you are authorized to accept nutrition program checks, look for a packet in the mail from the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
If you wish to receive nutrition program checks, call the agriculture department at 503-872-6600 for an application packet. You must meet these eligibility requirements:
- You own, lease, rent, or sharecrop land to grow, cultivate or harvest crops on that land in Oregon or a bordering county.
- You sell your produce at a farmers market or farm stand.
How can you bring nutrition program shoppers to your farmers market booth or farm stand?
- Consider advertising your produce and nutrition program participation at your local WIC clinic, senior center, and Office of Aging. (Find your local WIC clinic and locations for aging services.)
- In addition to farm stand and farmers market booths, consider setting up a pop-up stand at your community’s senior centers or low-income senior housing.
- Notify your local WIC clinic about the pop-up stand so both WIC families and seniors may participate.
- Consider setting up a delivery service to groups of customers.
- Post your nutrition program farmer sign whenever and wherever you accept program checks.
For more information on Farm Direct Nutrition Program farmer participation, contact the Oregon Department of Agriculture at 503-872- 6600.