According to Mr. Casey Foster, with the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA), “Nebraska has become the 48th state to receive USDA Food and Nutrition Service funding for the Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Farmers Market nutrition program. The NDA received a $75,000 federal grant to operate the WIC Farmers Market”.
Charles Drew Health Center expects to serve more than 2,000 WIC families in the Omaha area. Each family will receive a $18 seasonal benefit amount, to be used at the market. The new market will be the first in Nebraska to accept coupons from the WIC food program. This will allow low-income pregnant, breast feeding, non-breast feeding postpartum women, infants and children up to five years of age, at nutritional risk, to have supplemental food, health care referrals and nutrition education at no cost.
Charles Drew Health Center chief executive officer, Kenny D. McMorris, MPA, CHCEF, sees the WIC Farmers Market as “a wonderful opportunity for Charles Drew Health Center to once again partner with the Douglas County Health Department to meet the immediate needs of low-income families in our community”.
This year, the Omaha Farmers Markets also introduced the option to purchase goods using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits at the exiting two markets – Saturday’s Downtown market (open 8 am to 12:30 pm) and Sunday’s Aksarben Village market (open 9 am to 1 pm). This change will enable families to use their Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.
The Omaha Farmers Markets are sponsored by Creighton University Medical Center and Creighton Medical Associates. Supplemental funding for the WIC Farmer’s Market and SNAP program was provided by an anonymous donor.