CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — A new grant means it could soon be a lot easier for some food benefits recipients to buy fresh, locally grown produce from West Virginia’s participating farmers’ markets.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ (DHHR) Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) received $250,000 from the federal government, the DHHR announced in a press release Thursday.
That money will go toward purchasing technology to enable farmers to sell their products to WIC shoppers through a QR code that will be printed onto a sticker and placed on WIC recipients’ Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards, according to the DHHR. This can eliminate the use of paper checks and vouchers.
The DHHR estimates that the new technology will be available for the next growing season, beginning in June 2023.
According to the DHHR, the funding came from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program Benefit Delivery Modernization Grant.
West Virginia is home to at least 267 registered farmers’ markets, most of which run from the summer through the early fall. To find the closest farmers’ market to you, check the West Virginia Department of Agriculture’s website. Click here to find one that participates in the WIC program.