News

Each Summer, WIC participants have access to fresh, local produce.

Posted on: June 25, 2019
Tags: WIC, Primary Health Solutions, Middletown, Hamilton

Contributor(s): Tyler Adams

 

Each year in August, we host our annual family wellness block parties.  These are huge events drawing thousands in attendance but these block parties weren’t always such grand events.  Back in 2010, Cindy Meale, Director of WIC Services, attended a training in Columbus on implementing the WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program.  What came out of that training was the idea to bring farmers to our 2nd Street location in Hamilton.  Each year it has gotten bigger evolving into a huge party with dozens of vendors and resource tables, multiple farmers, food demonstrations, music, entertainment, and more!

 

The program is set up to provide fresh, locally grown produce through farmers' markets to WIC Participants while also increasing awareness and the use of Farmers' Markets and roadside stands.  The Butler County WIC Program issues over 1,000, $20 vouchers each year during the block parties to WIC Participants to get produce from the participating farmers.

 

Instead of issuing vouchers and expecting the participants to make it out to the farmers' markets and stands, the Butler County WIC Program brings the farmers to the people.  It was recognized that participants may have difficulty getting to the farmers and may end up just not using their vouchers, which would affect the funding of the program.  By bringing the farmers to the participants, the redemption rate of the vouchers has been high.  In fact, the Butler County WIC Program was #1 in the State of Ohio for Redemption of the vouchers last year.

 

Nancy Sawyer, Program Manager for the Butler County WIC Program emphasized the importance of the WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program’s impact on the local agricultural community.  She explained that WIC Participants benefit from the access to local and fresh produce but farmers also benefit.  With over 1,000 $20 vouchers being given out each year, that is approximately 20,000 dollars going back into local farms, supporting the local farmers and their families.

 

This year’s WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program is taking place August 6th in Hamilton and August 8th in Middletown.  For more information on these events, click here: https://www.myprimaryhealthsolutions.org/events/

 

The Farms that participate in the Butler County Program are:

Garver Farm Market: http://www.garverfarmmarket.com/

Bethel Lane Farms: https://www.localharvest.org/bethel-lane-farms-M36676

Johnson Family Farm: https://www.facebook.com/Johnson-Family-Farm-1069895669712721/

Downing Fruit Farm: https://www.facebook.com/Downing-Fruit-Farm-410947189017193/