Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program vouchers were not available nor was there any place to redeem them in Boone County. Despite this fact, the local WIC office distributed the vouchers with advice to participants to find Farmers’ Markets in neighboring counties, and, senior vouchers were not distributed at all. The resulting redemption rate given this scenario was only slightly more than 18%.
Enter the Boone County Community Wellness Coordinator, Holly Catron. Ms. Catron, along with the City of Lebanon, the Town of Whitestown, the Indiana State Department of Health, local managers of farmers’ markets, farm-stand owners and FMNP state coordinator Legita Wilson worked to gain approval for the FMNP program in two farmers’ markets and one farm stand. Witham Health Services and Boone County Extension homemakers donated towards the match program.
The results to-date are impressive:
- The Boone County WIC FMNP voucher redemption rate increased from 18.11 percent in 2015 to 41.1 percent in 2016.
- The Boone County Senior FMNP voucher redemption rate increased from zero in 2015 to 79.17 percent in 2016.
- These results translate into a net increase of $965 spent by these limited-resource groups on locally grown fruits and vegetables (WIC increased from $155 to $740, seniors increased from zero to $380).