WIC families have to redeem their checks for the Pennsylvania Farmers Market Nutrition Program before they expire November 30.
The checks, issued this past summer to eligible WIC participants, can be redeemed at participating Farmers Markets for a variety of Pennsylvania-grown fresh fruits and vegetables.
WIC families should contact their local WIC office or call 412-350-5801 for a list of Farmers Markets where they can redeem their checks. The list is also available on the Allegheny County Health Department's web site at www.achd.net.
Health officials suggest that the produce checks be used before Thanksgiving, since most Farmers Markets close for the season a week before the holiday.
The list of fall produce now available includes apples, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, squash, grapes, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, parsnips, pears, plums, potatoes, pumpkins, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams and zucchini.
WIC is a federally funded program for pregnant or breastfeeding women, postpartum mothers and children under the age of five. Eligibility is based on income and nutritional risk.
The income limits are an annual gross income of $18,889 for a family of one; $25,327 for 2; $31,765 for 3; $38,203 for 4; $44,641 for 5; $51,079 for 6; $57,517 for 7; and $63,955 for 8. Unborn children are counted when the woman is pregnant.
Besides free produce during the summer and fall, WIC provides regular benefits that include infant formula, milk, eggs, cheese, juice, cereal and other nutritious foods.
The program serves 16,000 women and children countywide and has room to enroll 18,000.
For more information about WIC and how to apply for benefits, call the County Health Department at 412-350-5801. If this number is a toll call or you live outside Allegheny County, call the statewide toll-free number, 1-800-WIC-WINS.