How to Participate in the Program:
To participate in the WIC FMNP or SFMNP, you must be authorized by the Tennessee Department of Health. An authorized farmer is an individual who farms in Tennessee and who has a signed agreement with the FMNP to sell eligible foods at farmers’ markets and/or permanent farm stands. Individuals, who exclusively sell produce grown by someone else such as wholesale distributors, cannot be authorized to participate in the FMNP.
Eligible foods are those fruits, vegetables and herbs listed on the Approved Food List and must be grown in Tennessee. The authorized farmer must have personally grown over half of the eligible foods he or she has for sale.
How Does the Program Work?
WIC participants and senior citizens in selected counties are issued $5 FMNP vouchers in July and August to purchase Tennessee grown produce from authorized farmers. Participants are also given the names and selling locations of the authorized farmers. The authorized farmer has a poster displayed at his/her selling location, exchanging Tennessee grown produce for the voucher.
The authorized farmer enters the amount of the purchase and the date on the voucher and asks the participant to sign the voucher. The signature must match the signature on the front of their voucher folder. The farmer then validates the vouchers with a stamp provided by the Department of Health. The back of the voucher is stamped with the farmer’s bank account number and deposited into his or her bank account for payment.
How to Apply to be an Authorized Farmer:
Individuals must annually apply for and receive farmer authorization in order to participate in the FMNP/SFMNP. The program does not limit the number of farmers who may become authorized. A farmer authorized to accept program vouchers may accept vouchers at any market in the state, depending on the acceptance by the local market.
For more information about the program, you may:
- Download the Farmers’ Handbook
- Review the Farmers Agreement (PH-4173)
- View the Farmers Market Nutrtion Program Webinar. After this training, Tennessee farmers may apply to become authorized to provide fresh unprocessed fruits, vegetables, and herbs to WIC participants and low income seniors at local farmers markets in select counties.