About Farmers Market Nutrition Programs
The Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is associated with the Tennessee Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The WIC FMNP was established by Congress in 1992 to provide fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables to WIC participants, and to expand the awareness, use of, and sales at farmers' markets. Tennessee participates in the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (WFMNP) and the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP).
The Tennessee Department of Health receives grants from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to operate the FMNP. This program is offered in Tennessee during July and August. The FMNP provides locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs to families with limited resources, improving the eating habits of WIC families and senior citizens. They also receive nutrition information which shows why it is important to eat more fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables can help prevent chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke.
The FMNP only includes fruits, vegetables, and herbs which are grown in Tennessee. This gives support to local farmers and their families. FMNP farmers sell their produce at local farmers markets and at permanent farm stands. About 25,000 eligible participants are served each summer. Participants must be residents of selected counties in Tennessee and meet gross income guidelines.